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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 4: July 2020
Poem: 239 words
By Kika Dorsey

during this lockdown

every day is Sunday 
slow drip of honey 
time the gait of a beetle 
on floors from felled oak 
from trees never given a chance 
like my children now 
with their carapace of home 
with their boredom 

all my son wanted 
was a lover to date 
to eat pizza with 
but he’s locked in like a cat 

we know now what it’s like 
to be an indoor cat 
while the finches sing 
while in Indonesia 
they slap the 20-foot cage 
make the birds do 500 laps 
to build stamina 
for birdsong competitions 
and I remember on Bali 
the men swinging cocks by the legs 
chewing beetle nut 
throwing the roosters in the circle 
for the cock fights 
a flurry of feathers 
of fear 
while the women in courtyards 
fed the gods 
water, rice, and flower petals 
and now I witness 
cockfights every day on the news 
and I was a step away 
from falling then 
and now I’m not even 
on my feet 

and now we’re all looking 
for remote jobs 
and the computer 
is an eye 
is staring us down 
and the computer 
cannot record my song 
like an ear 
and sometimes now 
I’m so lonely 

I can see 
how old the willow 
in our front yard has become 
its split trunk, its lean 
but we don’t cut it down 
because age graces our world 
and it is so hard 
to be old these days 

Kika Dorsey
Issue 4, July 2020

is a poet and fiction writer in Boulder, Colorado, and lives with her two children, husband, and pets. Her books include Beside Herself (Flutter Press, 2010); two full-length collections from Word Tech Editions, Rust (2016) and Coming Up for Air (2018); and the forthcoming full-length Occupied: Vienna Is a Broken Man (Pinyon Publishing, 2020). She is an instructor of English at Front Range Community College and works as a writing coach, editor, tutor, 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: www.kikadorsey.com

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