Kristine Esser Slentz

an extraordinarily intermediate trip

become bite size hazy
mist enters along bottom
soft orange pink and blue
but maybe mostly green
more mint green – not neon

sitting still then
starts to glide to
slow – quick space

lie very stationary
feel the ants rise
above the ground
and into hand next
to burned mouth
don’t worry they
won’t hurt right
away – that
takes awhile

close the sockets
that hold eyes in
feel the emotionlessness
vibrate teeth nose knuckles
ya know how pins do
or lines turned to runny –

away! that favorite place
sink below the belt of
upholstery with crispy
leftovers attached to
cotton mouth messes

people hate that
lifeless happiness
ping of codependent
debts circling
some kind of blow
jobs and carjacking

waking up is a bitch. and so is the alaskan cold.
but the money wife and responsibility is pleasant.


Kristine Esser Slentz is a queer, experimental poet from northwest Indiana and the Chicagoland area. She is a Purdue University alum who double-majored in English literature and creative writing. Currently, she is earning her MFA in creative writing (poetry) at City College of New York where she is an adjunct professor and a co-organizer of the MFA Reading Series. KRISTINE has also been long-listed with Rhythm & Bones Press and will be completing a residency with Poets Afloat. Some places her poetry has appeared in or is forthcoming include Yes PoetryMoonchild MagazineThe Shallow EndsGlass PoetryPink Plastic HouseBarren MagazineCrab Fat MagazinePhilosophical Idiot, and Flying Island Journal where she was nominated for a 2017 Pushcart Prize.