On the Picturesque

On Wednesday, I start writing things down.
They are something like a poem, something
like a house fire. We have enough food

for a week and the pets all make it out.
The trees are sumptuous and dramatic
and rarely on fire. My hands are bone

white and only sometimes on fire.
Every dream has a dollhouse and every
dollhouse, a dream of moss, creeping

across the floor like carpet. Still, my ghosts
wear heavy shoes and rattle the bed at night.
All of them have other lovers. I can smell

the violets on their hands and the sweet
ache of their molars. I circle each one
with a red pen, then start again.

Map the distance, the weight
between desire and necessity.
Dear, it’s not so good.

Sometimes I can trick myself into something
like writing by moving words across the page
like peculiar, but overly extravagant, insects.

Sometimes, more the idea of words, like horses
or bricks in the houses we do not own.
Mostly I just burn.

A writer and visual artist, Kristy Bowen is the author of several book and chapbook projects, including brief history of girl as match, in the bird museum and the fever almanac. She lives in Chicago, where she runs dancing girl press & studio, an indie press and design studio.