With Both Hands Bare Again by Krystal Howard


I opened the pineapple for you when you told me of your sister — of barricaded limbs sunk deep into the shoal — of a swiss army knife in the frontal bone — of your feet at the threshold — the limen — wanton tendons sending pain signals across the still waters. You wonder at my crumpled mouth and this oblation, but flowers still grow under stones and snow still coats the red leaves piled at the edge of our yard.

Once, I rose late in the afternoon and walked for hours to meet you across busy streets and overgrown fields where only howling dogs knew your agony. Once, I tipped over each potted succulent in our window, poured dirt over blood and cut flesh. Once, I did this for you and you didn’t even ask.



Krystal Howard is currently a PhD candidate in Literature at Western Michigan University, and has served as the Poetry Editor for Third Coast. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Barn Owl Review, American Poetry Journal, Quarterly West, Superstition Review, Weave Magazine, Prism Review, and PANK.