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We lie down on childhood, a serene state park
in full-on superhero regalia. Within seconds,
sweltering – a vastly different costume is a hometown,
a warmer mystique immediately built with stone and years.

Buoyant, struggling with stories, a spring warrior
wore down everything raw, beautiful imperfections
slipping into the distance. My strangers almost expected
to zoom in, to take the sharks during a fresh lullaby.

Don’t be worried — the moon has music, roots laid
in love and whiskey, a whole human prompted by summer.
Out from the security, armored, I’m trying to fall, a bullet
for old-fashioned serendipity. The universe, the magic –
I would draw like clockwork: to try, to flex.

It was not so far out of reach, another chapter
unattainable. With clear fervor, what should be:
story, fight, just to learn.



This is an erasure poem. Source material: “Animal Instinct,” by Andrew Bevan. Teen Vogue, August 2014, pages 128-133, 155.


E. Kristin Anderson grew up in Westbrook, Maine and is a graduate of Connecticut College. She has a fancy diploma that says “B.A. in Classics,” which makes her sound smart but has not helped her get any jobs in Ancient Rome. Kristin is the co-editor of Dear Teen Me, an anthology based on the popular website. Her poetry has been published worldwide in many magazines and anthologies and she is the author of two forthcoming chapbooks, A Jab of Deep Urgency (Finishing Line Press) and A Guide for the Practical Abductee (Red Bird Chapbooks). She is an online editor at Hunger Mountain and a contributing editor at Found Poetry Review. Once upon a time she worked at The New Yorker. She now lives in Austin, Texas and blogs at

© 2014, E. Kristin Anderson

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