strange machine (limited edition) / Kristy Bowen
limited edition of 30
text/image by Kristy Bowen
the radium girls speak
Before the bomb, our jaws wax necrotic.
So patriotic. Exotic the way the camelhair brush
strokes the dark face of the wristwatch,
our backs bent over our work. But then
all of it was work. The great machine of America
rolling over us, rolling us over in our beds. Every painted
fingernail, every bright doll’s eye eating us from the inside.
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,
but what kills you can set off Geiger counters
100 years later. Can set fires in the belly of industrial
barons from here to Hackensack Every lawyer, every great
capitalist gaslighting us in walnut courtrooms as our teeth
crumble into our palms. Progress, the great white
spasm, seeping into our tongues and softly glowing.