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Kristy Bowen

About Destruction

Summer is slipping
out from under us,
starless and disarayed.
We find we are ravenous,
lost, our tongues
made of flame.

You memorize each
vertebrae of my back,
the strands of my hair,
the hollow of my throat.
We name our desires in
the spill of streetlight
washing the bed.

Touch. Pulse. Breath.

I haven't yet told you
how I dream endlessly
of women, their glance
expressionless, hollowed,
bodies worn and slight
as reeds, how they can
sense our contentment
thick as jasmine.

They are envious. Violet-eyed.

You teach me the French
word for destroy -- detruire --
running your fingers
along the inside of my arm,
your lips over my wrist.
It almost sounds too delicate
for something breaking,
too soft for disaster.

Sometimes I long for madness,
rainstorms, locusts.

Something terrible and prophetic.

In this, you tell me I am like
my mother, the sad oval
of her face, disappointment
lingering at the corners
of her mouth, anger in her bones.
And I remember how I must
kill her again and again
to love you.

Matricide every time I take
you in my mouth,
every time I fuck you.

Each time, she is burning.

©2003 by Kristy Bowen

Kristy Bowen's work has appeared in a number of publications, including Small Spiral Notebook and Stirring. She lives and writes in Chicago, where she edits the online journal Wicked Alice. Her chapbook, The Archaeologist's Daughter, is forthcoming in spring 2004 from Moon Journal Press. This fall she began coursework towards her MFA in Poetry at Columbia College, and was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. See more of her work at her Web site.

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