At the slumber party, we play light as a feather, stiff as a board. Lift one girl several feet
before she collapses--some rough magic involving drugstore nailpolish and m&ms. We
watch a film where a girl learns to dance, the span of her partner's hands nearly the width
of her waist as he lifts her in the water. Argue who is prettier--the rifts between the
Babys and the Pennys of the world widening. Good girl. Bad girl. It's a steady dance
partner vs. a botched abortion. But really, the world comes down to two kinds of
girls. Two kinds of death by sweetness. These are your options--the eater or the
eaten. We hide ho-hos in the backs of our closets where our mothers never look. Lift
strawberry gum from the K-Mart checkout. Smack it sweetly when the boy in 7th grade
puts his hand under our blouses. What’s left of our bodies lifting up and beyond the
houses and into the trees.
A writer and book artist working in both text and image, Kristy Bowen is the author of a number of chapbook, zine, and artist book projects, as well as several full-length collections of poetry/prose/hybrid work, including SALVAGE (Black Lawrence Press, 2016) and MAJOR CHARACTERS IN MINOR FILMS (Sundress Publications, 2015). She lives in Chicago, where she runs dancing girl press and studio.