That Time I met Helen of Troy in the Underworld

Her cottage shingles painted
w/ dollar store vamp nail polish
a stack of ceramic eggs pillars an awning
I stand outside for ten minutes
see the door open so I go in
The place has three rooms:
a bedroom
a kitchen/toilet combo
a room w/ a door shut—
(maybe it’s a walk-in closet but who knows)
Everything in her bedroom is made
of glass but lacks a view
Her bed has no blanket
her pillows covered in translucent
cloth made from the outer layer
of human palms
I sit on a chair by her dresser
I become too conscious
the fact of my body
unsinkable unsoften
against these furnishings
A woman walks in
calls herself Helen
throws a camo jacket on her mattress
this is beauty
then count me out
her left arm
skin hinges like gills
her tendons all out
flap softly in time
w/ her breath
her sternum cut into
as if someone went
ice-fishing for her heart
her right cheek flayed
like butchered pig
the cheekbone juts
when she speaks to me
She asks if she can have
like, five minutes
She lays on her bed, stomach side down—
a traffic circle of veins & sinew
a city of spoil
-ed meats stretch
and flap over glass

Kristen Brida's poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Fairy Tale Review, New Delta Review, Hobart, Whiskey Island and elsewhere. She is the Editor in Chief of So to Speak and is an MFA candidate at George Mason University