the kissing disease
Sometimes, I am too suggestible. Both exquisite and satin hipped, moving through December like a doll within a doll. I am always too exciteable, this contagion sweet on a boy's tongue. I pretend that we are moving further and further apart, like halving an orange and then halving it again. Or a curtain unfolding and unfolding to reveal a ballerina, ice lipped in a white dress. You wouldn't believe the things I want sometimes. Like now, the fever blooming inside me, scented like milkweed and snow. The enormous tangle of branches that give way to a tiny kitten heart. This river looks fake, all singing children and dirndls. But then, so do your hands, pulling me toward you in the truck. I braid my hair and pretend it comes natural to me as breathing, as this little disease caught in my throat. It might be a butterfly. It might be a knife. All night, my ribs are a sleepy furnace, where small colonies make scrimshaw drawings of strange beasts. You wouldn't believe the things they want.
A writer and visual artist, Kristy Bowen is founder of dancing girl press & studio, an indie press and design studio based in Chicago. She is the author of in the bird museum (Dusie Press, 2008) and the fever almanac (Ghost Road Press, 2006) as well as several chapbook length and book art projects.