I stare down ash

by E. Kristin Anderson

I stare down               ash—

this is where I

was      bricks, collapsed,
a charred      point of reference for
myself in this sea of

almost a month.

The coal justice

escaped the why.         Perhaps

anyone would have the odd

condition of


But no one is returning
and      against my venture,

invisible,             circling—

there’s no intelligence.

I had to see           so much.   I made it

their plans,


organized.    His hands

let go.     A day, a little tour

is just

the same.

The same.     My left temple

hit me with the coil.   Memories swirl,

try to sort out          what is false

in the ruins:

This hard concussion?


the drugs,     my sometimes guess.

I’m still convinced that hallucinating


(one of the

simplest things)

begins in my home.

I was      the hunger.   I


dead—likely,     probably        dead.

Should I come down?

My voice reaches      through the watching,

crouched down,

elbows on my thighs,        braced.



This is an erasure poem. Source Material: Collins, Suzanne. Mockingjay. New York: Scholastic, 2014. 3-4. Print.

E. Kristin Anderson is a Pushcart nominated poet and author who 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 YA memoir The Summer of Unraveling is forthcoming in 2017 from ELJ Publications.  She now lives in Austin, Texas, where she works as a freelance editor and is trying to trick someone into publishing her full-length collection of erasure poems based on women’s and teen magazines. She blogs at EKristinAnderson.com and tweets at @ek_anderson.