Kristy Bowen


In 5th grade, the girls line up in the classroom. Line up in the gym. Red rover, red rover, send Jenny right over. When the teacher’s not looking, the oldest boys grope us with their hands, their fingers sticky with chicken fingers and jelly. I am the spelling bee champ and not to be trusted. My nights filled with math books and magic, levitating pencils and girls twice my size from the basement floor. My mother says I’m gifted, but yells when I lift the butter dish off the counter & slam it into the fridge. Nudges me under the table when the forks begin to bend backwards. When the chandelier begins to shake. In my easy-bake oven, I am killing everything by fire or water, drowning Barbies in the bathtub before cutting every hair off their head. Fucking up the cafeteria with all my bleeding. Speaking to the dead through my transistor radio. Red rover, red rover.