All in by E. Kristin Anderson

by E. Kristin Anderson

(after Beto O’Rourke)

I swear I will scream until the bluebonnets               come back into bloom                    

    a river of birth      in the ditches on the highway       until the grackles fall     

            yellow-eyed          to perch on my arms,          throats open

        to cry a piercing anthem,                 to purge             the hurricane     

    around us          to pull the windows apart        from every home       so we might

hear      every single voice    the guitars hanging from the ceilings     and rocking

    on the floors        and I am a magnolia tree          older than the bees       and I still

welcome the bees      and the beetles        I have known forever           I am

             a magnolia tree                blooming           under a crescent moon        


a Texas moon         if there ever was one        to welcome the water      from the Gulf    

      the things we dare to hope        raining down         on the driest valley       a tornado

                     to wreck the myth of          The Border        to grind our fences to sand      

and I want to breathe that sand      into myself        into my mockingbird heart         

             a broken alarm      so loud against the buzz of traffic         on I-35      against

the beat of the wings of the monarchs            swirling toward Mexico      the winds

     of choice           whistling in every tongue that has ever          kissed the grass

          of my home          where a sunset      is a promise and a sunrise

is a whisper and a love song and         a fiddle and a violin        to tell you the truth

and the truth is my own hands      the glitter and the mud in my skin       it is the time

I was sick         in the ditch        where later primrose bloomed         alongside aster

        it is the blue of my tattered jeans         the blue of the newborn coyote’s eye.


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 and Hysteria: Writing the female body (forthcoming). Kristin’s poetry has been published worldwide in many magazines and she is the author of nine chapbooks of poetry including A Guide for the Practical Abductee, Pray, Pray, Pray: Poems I wrote to Prince in the middle of the night, Fire in the Sky, 17 seventeen XVII and Behind, All You've Got (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.