Kristene Kaye Brown

What Bodies Move
by Kristene Kaye Brown

Let the world come hungry at me.

Let the hours learn the tender curve

of this neck. For so long I’ve wanted

to believe that I’m made of star stuff,

a glittering spigot

funneled from the blue spiraling arms

of our milky way.

I hear

the clap of hands inside my chest.

I swallow. The body

softening against it. Who hasn’t wanted

to climb atop a roof and jump,

prove we too can come back

like the tulips after a bitter winter. A small body

pulled from dark,

a city of animated dust. I believe

sleep is night’s apology for day,

dreams the only respite from dark. I dream

of fog, fog slowing morning minutes.

Another day drained.       Still,

there has only ever been one setting sun,

one rotating light chasing one unreachable


for billions of years.

A small good miracle,

were I swallowed into a black hole

I could live without shadow. I could live

inside that sunless system of tunnels.

I would be fine

dying there. And still, there is the question:

More god or less?

Me, I could go either way.

I have been told
that nearly all the atoms in the oxygen

we breathe

and the carbon in our skin

fell from the hydrogen furnace of a star,

which makes us less star stuff and more
nuclear waste,

weeds in a field of buttercups.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 22, Issue 1.

Kristene Kaye BrownKristene Kaye Brown is a mental health social worker. She earned her MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her work has previously been published, or is forthcoming, in DIAGRAM, Harpur Palate, Minnesota Review, Nashville Review, and others. Kristene lives and works in Kansas City.

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