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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 1: January 2020
Prose Poem: 314 words
By Kika Dorsey

Caring for the Bees


He labors on the moon as if his hands were teeth chewing craters into the shape of the old man he sees as father. That’s why he planted a flag. That’s why he doesn’t care about the bees.

At dawn the moon sets with its silver light eaten and its hounds turning from it and running to the woods when the lake begins to shoot the sky back into its blue. When I told him reflection is no business of ours, he dunked his hand in the water and stirred to ripples his face, determined and hard as the stones I collect to circle my garden of sage and lavender, to bring more weight to my desert. He admires how he can move. How he can build spaceships and weld steel tongues. I can’t go anywhere. I have to take care of the bees.

The queen still lives and I build a throne of flowers and steal water from his mirror for her. A magpie lands on my house and the moon laughs at me when it’s full, keeping me awake. Silver light is too similar to my bones. It gets inside of me.

Sometimes when the moon wanes I miss my children, but most of the time I miss my childhood. I didn’t know the man then and the father was digging the moon’s dust and building dust castles and I was always seeing how far I could swim underwater, how little I needed to breathe. I didn’t care about the water’s surface. All it did was hide things from me—seaweed and stone and pike.

I would go home and eat honey and the bees never stung me. They were generous, and even now the desert wraps its dry arms around me, so lavish with thorn and bloom, so opulent if you look hard enough at the ground.

Kika Dorsey
Issue 1, January 2020

is a poet, fiction writer, and educator who lives with her two children, husband, and Border Collie in Boulder, Colorado. She wakes up every morning and crafts poetry out of dreams, myths, her body, and her travels. While finishing her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature in Seattle, Washington, she performed her poetry with musicians and artists. Her poems have been published in Freshwater, KYSO Flash, The Columbia Review, The Comstock Review, The Denver Quarterly, The Pennsylvania Literary Journal, and numerous other journals and books. Her writing has been nominated four times for the Pushcart Prize.

Ms. Dorsey is the author of three poetry collections: Beside Herself (Flutter Press, 2010), and two published by WordTech Editions, Coming Up for Air (2018) and Rust (2016), the latter of which was reviewed by Clare MacQueen in KYSO Flash (Issue 6, Fall 2016). Ms. Dorsey is also an adjunct instructor of English at Front Range Community College. When not writing, teaching, or tutoring, she swims miles in pools, and runs and hikes in the open space of Colorado’s mountains and plains.

Author’s website: http://kikadorsey.com

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