The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: E. Kristin Anderson’s “A Guide for the Practical Abductee”



Believe me, I want to leave. Or I did
once when this space in my chest was simple –
an uncomplicated thrumming of loss.

                  I was dead. He was right there, opening
                  the cupboard, making tea, slipping wet
                  against skin. So I thought, I will open
                  cupboards, too. Boil water. Wail.

But the ache sucked me in, and I felt fullness
linger for little moments. My insides were real
and my feet brushed the tile and felt this floor
is cool. My hair floated as if touched by static.

                   Static – I am still. Standing unseen.
                   So I slam the cupboards. Boil water
                   faster, harder. Break the tea cup,
                   watch it crack in his hand.

And as that first drop of blood hits
the floor, I know poltergeist isn’t just
some German word we throw around
at summer camp. It’s me, him. It’s us.

This selection comes from E. Kristin Anderson’s A Guide for the Practical Abductee, available now from Red Bird Chapbooks. Purchase your copy here!

Kristin Anderson is a Pushcart-nominated poet and author who grew up in Westbrook, Maine and is a graduate of Connecticut College. She has a fancy diploma that says “B.A. in Classics,” which makes her sound smart but has not helped her get any jobs in Ancient Rome. Kristin is the co-editor ofDear Teen Me,an anthology based on the popular website and her YA memoir The Summer of Unraveling is forthcoming in 2017 from ELJ Publications. Her poetry has been published worldwide in many magazines and anthologies and she is the author of five chapbooks: A Jab of Deep Urgency (Finishing Line Press) and A Guide for the Practical Abductee (Red Bird Chapbooks) Pray Pray Pray: Poems I wrote to Prince in the middle of the night (Porkbelly Press, 2015), Acoustic Battery Life (forthcoming from ELJ Publications) and 17 Days (forthcoming from Choose the Sword Press). Kristin an editor at NonBinary Review, helps make books at Lucky Bastard Press, and is a poetry editor at  Found Poetry Review. Once upon a time she worked at The New Yorker. She now lives in Austin, TX where she works as a freelance editor and writing coach and is trying to trick someone into publishing her full-length collection of erasure poems based on women’s and teen magazines. She blogs at and tweets at @ek_anderson.

Hunter Parsons is a senior at Kalamazoo College pursuing a degree in English with a writing emphasis. She has been published in The Cauldron, Kalamazoo College’s literary magazine, and is being mentored by poet Diane Seuss. When she’s not writing, being a plant mom, or advocating for young women’s self esteem, Hunter is baking and organizing her ever-growing make-up collection.

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