What should have been but never was.jpg


Kristen Brida

Helen of Troy tells me why her furniture and walls are made of glass


Before I left my first husband hung
mirrors all around our house
so he could “see my beauty
but all I saw reflected
a tallest


One day I was out at dinner
in a Vegas-themed bar
went to the restroom to touch

up my lipstick & a vanity
light flickered & the light
pulsed w/ its fuzz & its yellow
Have you ever empathized
w/ color before… a thing

w/o borders while you’re over
there all made all layered

I got home to my husband
& we probably fucked but
I just stared at the ceiling
all night


as if it was the border
between my eye & whatever



I am oscillating


I wake up today feeling
Particularly unfuckable
I look in the mirror & see through it
Like a glass of water tainted w/ milk
I make breakfast & feel my flesh
Trying to fly out with the wind
And where will it go
To occupy a sky
A sky spackled skin constellated with moles
They would make planetariums out of my back
That’s pretty ridiculous and I would be for it
If not for upping the unfuckable factor
And for the housing of all life
I don’t care for that
I only care for the pink
A pink that flushes just before
It starts to go dead
We are all in the pink at one point
At one point I will care for you
If only for a moment
And you will oscillate and won’t know how to feel
Until you are the skim surface of milk
And you are just like me
And we will unhouse it all together
Perhaps I am not really all that changed


I go between calling this an elegy and just not calling it


I’m in my living room
I caved & went to Duane Read & got Doritos
I sit in front of the blue light of my cableless television
I have Dorito dust spackled across my face
I am lidded in my public eye
I read that to undo this
I must go through it
But what if the verb is unreal
What if the syntax is off
Darling what if the through is unreal
And instead here I am
Walking across a planked ocean with kelp for hair
And all I can smell or feel or see is salt & wood
And this is my new world
And I forget what skin is
I look outside my window
I turn all the colors I see into pronouns
I oh my oh you you you—I cannot see these objects through

Kristen Brida’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Fairy Tale Review, New Delta Review, Tinderbox, Hobart, Whiskey Island, Barrelhouse Online, and elsewhere. An MFA candidate at George Mason University, she is the Editor in Chief of So to Speak Journal. She tweets @kristenbrida.

JD Thornton