my mind on the gap

E. Kristin Anderson
Content Warnings
"I’ve spent this year..."
Dec 28, 2020 9:51 PM

I’ve spent this year

suspended in heat, a slowness

that pulls me toward a wreck.

The kitchen sink is

stacked with dishes I don’t

remember having.

The drain collects

rust like memories and here I’m

counting pills again

as if they were coins—

a gospel I can

swallow with water and candor.

I fold myself into

my mattress and it swallows me,

no wretchedness left behind.

I am the villain

in this story, here to kiss

the empty sky.

Here is a smile

from an old friend. Here is

the wolf sleeping

under my bed.

No pill can cure

what isn’t there—

my illness is a mystery

but no man

will ever need to suffer

a limp dick.

Give me better answers

when the state

condemns me to my

inconvenient body—

my body just

swirling down the drain.

I should wear a ring

of rosemary around my waist.

I count pills again

as if they were bullets,

put them in my mouth,

lips sore from

kissing the wall. Kissing

the water. Kissing my last dollar.

I’m not supposed to

have these headache pills

but I always have a headache.

I tear down the ceiling

and reach for the rafters,

stand tall to taste the open sky.

In this bed I let my pills

fall around me like perfect rain—

a blessing I allow myself,

a church for

when the stairs fail me

when I’m buried in the horror

of pavement

and underbrush when

the water leaps

from the river to remind

me that I am still breathing

that I am still

waking from the fever

in which I am only my blood.

I’ve spent this year

suspended in heat, a slowness

I’ve spent this year

suspended in heat, a slowness

E. Kristin Anderson is a poet and glitter enthusiast living mostly at a Starbucks somewhere in Austin, Texas. She is the editor of Come as You Are, an anthology of writing on 90s pop culture (Anomalous Press), and her work has been published worldwide in many magazines. She is the author of nine chapbooks of poetry including Pray, Pray, Pray: Poems I wrote to Prince in the middle of the night (Porkbelly Press), Fire in the Sky (Grey Book Press), 17 seventeen XVII (Grey Book Press), and Behind, All You’ve Got (Semiperfect Press). Kristin is a poetry reader at Cotton Xenomorph and an editorial assistant at Sugared Water. Once upon a time she worked nights at The New Yorker. Find her online at and on twitter at @ek_anderson.