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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 12: March 2022
Poem: 181 words
By Kika Dorsey

Another Pandemic Year

The year comes to a close, 
creaky hinges and fingerprints, 
a window to see the no one 
coming to our door. 

Our patience is sand. 
It is the color of your skin, 
I say, blown glass we craft 
into a talisman with promises 
we have yet to believe in. 

On the beach of Montana de’Oro, 
our daughter and I sifted 
through tiny shells, stones, beach glass. 
I gave her all the green and kept 
the darkest stones to myself. 
You were crossing yourself 
with some holy thought of birds, 
my flamingo mask wrinkled in the laundry 
and our son’s eyes turned into mountains 
we could no longer climb, 
so we settled for his words, 
doors, muscle, breath, morning. 

I sent you a picture  
of the firecracker plant in California, 
scarlet as the sound 
of every utterance I tried to take back. 

I’ve taken my last crumb of good faith 
like its roots take water. 
We are old now. 
We have learned to forgive. 
Homesick for hope 
we gently fall where it is light enough. 

Not light. 
Light enough. 

Kika Dorsey
Issue 12, March 2022

is a poet and fiction writer in Boulder, Colorado. Her books include the chapbook Beside Herself (Flutter Press, 2010) and three full-length collections: two from Word Tech Editions, Rust (2016) and Coming Up for Air (2018); and one from Pinyon Publishing, Occupied: Vienna is a Broken Man and Daughter of Hunger (2020), winner of the Colorado Authors’ League Award for best poetry collection. 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 work has been nominated five times for the Pushcart Prize.

An instructor of English at Front Range Community College, Ms. Dorsey also works as a writing coach and ghostwriter. In her free time, 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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