Baby, Where Am I

(after Garrison Star)


by E. Kristin Anderson

I think often of the night you told me about your stage—
a section of floor in my parents’ living room means something

to you that it never could for me. I looked so long for the place
I knew must exist out there, a place that would not hold me

underwater but would wrap me in cotton. I’m here and I’m trying—
this afternoon I’m remembering how years before I was fat

I already worried about how my body might make men feel 
small. You need to know: I am letting that go so that I might fly, 

even in the rain, clouds ringing in my ears as another storm shakes 
the Gulf. I promise I’m not a hero—I just want to show you 

the world we can make from dirty carpets and daydreams,
blue moon or blood moon. Even as we’ve organized ourselves

into zip codes and blue jeans, girls like us keep scribbling past
the dark line, past the edge of the page. As I feel my age coming into

me I consider the metabolic wonder of the hummingbird. She is 
small and she is adored, bright wings in constant motion—

but among birds she is unsociable. Territorial. She consumes to live. 
I want to tell you that you’ll never wake up into a floating rage but 

you will and you can call me. I will explain the stages I’ve touched
with my own feet, the stages we find ourselves on every time 

we see an old friend in line at Target. How they are different 
and the same. How your anger is as human as your blood. Mine

has kept me alive long enough to find my place. And long enough 
to hold you in my arms. This place might not be yours, but 

you are welcome to it. And I don’t hold my breath when I pass 
a graveyard anymore. I breathe deep and spoon sorbet into

myself at the end of the world because I know on the other side 
of this you are waiting with a smile and a salve for my knees 

and a year of stories to tell. When the sky opens, I’ll catch the rain
in comic books, wait in the grass with the grackles. I’ll call you.

About the Author

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), andher work has appeared 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), We’re Doing Witchcraft (Porkbelly Press), and Behind, All You’ve Got (Semiperfect Press). Kristin is a poetry reader at Cotton Xenomorph and an editorial assistant at Porkbelly Press. Find her online at and on Twitter at @ek_anderson.