Kristen Bulger: Triptych of the Body

Triptych of the Body


Never room inside another

            and make claim. Surely,

there is a hell of the body,

            and you,

the girl, having your own,

            straddle a place

neither heaven or earth,

            but carry that burn around with you,

and find only a dirt mouth

empty of its jokes


to rush towards.

You’re like the white bedsheet cast out

as a net to catch

the falling wind— it catches

nothing. Even with everything


in the streets, you go colliding

among the people living

with grassy heads, and the streetlights

            on early that pale the pavement

 with blurred leaves while

            cold rain steadies itself to stillness.


Not another day longer could you stay

            in the closed cabinet

of the cabinet of the body.


Here is the speckled wince

of the woman

            who waits by the bus stop—

 a pieta who cradles

            the empty air

like a flour sack

            in her arms— she says

do you see this body dying?


Do I?


Kristen Bulger is a poet from New Hampshire and currently lives in Boston, MA. She is a graduate of the MFA program at the University of New Hampshire. Her work has appeared in Salamander, Superstition Review, Houseguest, and elsewhere.