8.9 / September 2013

Kansas City Loves You

listen to this poem

but you’re tired of her so
you pick a fight with a bottle
of Mad Dog 20/20 on a bet
that you’d puke neon. You do.
A hipster takes a picture
of it so you leave that party
in a city that knows you’re
unarmed. It loves the smell
of your need for anything
liquid or pulsing, leads you
to an alley bar where you find
a girl who leans close to
complain about her infected nipple
ring. Kiss her to make her stop.
Her girlfriend is watching, promising
to cut you if you touch her
again. You dare her. Aim
her imaginary shank to the wrong side
of your chest. Turns out she’s all talk. So
are you. The moment resolves
into a Queen song on the jukebox.
Try to fit the movement
of your hips into a song that
doesn’t want you. Settle for a boy.
Tell him to call you anything he wants.
He whispers Grace in your ear
like he’s saying a prayer
for a better woman. When you fall
off your barstool he’ll promise
to kiss your bruises later which is all
anyone really wants so you follow him
to his apartment. He shows you pictures
of women bound in ribbon. You ask him
to show you his bathroom, the walls
a muddy midnight you want to lick.
Your body settles for tiled floor
to cool your bum wine fever, holds you
better then he could. You swear you can
hear his disappointed hard-on thumping
against the other side of the bathroom door,
and you try dreaming an exit.

Krysten Hill is a graduate from the MFA program at UMASS Boston. She has featured at the Cantab, Literary Firsts, U35, Breakwater Reading Series, Write on the DOT, and The Encyclopedia Show Somerville. She is published and forthcoming in apt, Write on the DOT, and Amethyst Arsenic.
8.9 / September 2013