strange machine (limited edition) / Kristy Bowen

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limited edition of 30
text/image by Kristy Bowen
(2016)

24 pages

 

 

 

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.