Bridget Kriner Cleveland, OH

At MichFest, 2006

Touch this if you can in your memory:
There is a child dancing alone,
close to the earth, as if a rhythm
was rising off the dirt and she wanted
to hold it in her hands.

There is a woman gliding naked
through the field, the ghosts
of her breasts floating along with her,
her skin clean and empty.

I do not know them,
or how they feel to have survived
this world so far.

Still, I am here, sharing a field
with them. I do not know
how to be happy anymore.

Or how it is to be beautiful.

Their bodies are like hands
on a great drum,
they know what to do.
They know how to do it.

I am a stranger in this family
of knowing things.

Touch me in your memory,
if you were there. Or even
if you can only imagine me
there, cross-legged on the grass,
under the shade of a tree,
writing it down.

Bridget Kriner is a straight-talker; her sentences and phrasing are still-wet, alive, and breathing. In her book Autoethnogaphy Kriner writes about sacrifice, manifestation of birds, what it means to be a woman. But also, and it seems moreso, hers is a book about change.