Kristy Bowen

Opening the Body

You must be prepared for water,
an ocean, salt,
the morning's vague narrations.
Must have a word for it,
what is broken,
what is saved.
In her throat,
a skein of cloth,
a nest of mud wasps.
The skin is marked by
boundaries, nothing else:
lilacs, radio, fishing line.
You must hold her in place
as if she were a moth, a thin
dusting to your hands--
wrist to headboard,
ankles to sheet.
When the cage of her ribs
blooms beneath your palms,
prepare for the absence
of blood, the whiteness of bone.
Cover the eyes quickly,
she doesn't need them,
seeing, as she does,
through her fingers.

Kristy Bowen's work has appeared in a number of publications, including Small Spiral Notebook, Stirring, and Poems Niederngasse. She is the author of two chapbooks , Bloody Mary and The Archaeologist's Daughter , and a hypertext collection, lattitudes . A two-time Pushcart nominee, Bowen was recently awarded first place in The Poetry Center of Chicago's 10th Annual Juried Reading Competition. She lives in Chicago , where she edits the online journal Wicked Alice , and is the founder of Dancing Girl Press , devoted to publishing work by women poets. More of her work may be seen at: .


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