When the Light Flickers Move Closer and Go (after The X-Files)

I was never any good with physics        so I can’t tell you the scientific
reasons that a human being might disappear.          That the light might
go out.                 I maintain that what we are all made of           must be
more than matter            light or dark.            Our choice of lipstick

the books we abhor          the smell of coffee in the afternoon.       I’m told
that darkness covers a multitude of sins—             I cast a shadow toward
December and      (since it’s always raining in these stories)      I swallow it.
I caress the scorch marks left behind in the pavement          on the carpet.

I lick my fingers and stay up all night listening to             “X-Ray Man”
by Liz Phair          feeling the headlights of passing cars hit my window—
even with my eyes closed         I feel them.               Scully you carry your
body in a trench coat        with your flashlight          sweep the shadows

behind you          with nothing but thought            inspect the closed doors
(because they are always closed).       I cannot disappear.      The shadow is
inseparable from the self.     I wear my coat into the street      feed insomnia
to the dark       (as if I could give it up)          wait            for a man to tell me

what I already know.          Scully—                    we need the dark to scorch
a path through these long halls      into these slick roads              to consume
the science       and the self          to prove we are more than what we hold
in our hands—          more than a flashlight or a gun or a drop of rain.

When the Light Flickers Move Closer and Go

E. Kristin Anderson is a poet, Starbucks connoisseur, and glitter enthusiast living in Austin, Texas. She is the editor of Come as You Are, an anthology of writing on 90s pop culture (Anomalous Press), and Hysteria: Writing the female body (Sable Books, forthcoming).  Kristin is the author of nine chapbooks of poetry including A Guide for the Practical Abductee (Red Bird Chapbooks), Pray, Pray, Pray: Poems I wrote to Prince in the middle of the night (Porkbelly Press), Fire in the Sky (Grey Book Press), 17 seventeen XVII (Grey Book Press), and Behind, All You’ve Got (Semiperfect Press, forthcoming). Kristin is an assistant poetry editor at The Boiler and an editorial assistant at Sugared Water. Once upon a time she worked nights at The New Yorker. Find her online at EKristinAnderson.com and on twitter at @ek_anderson.    

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