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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 5: October 2020
Prose Poem: 384 words
By Kika Dorsey

The Quink of an Eye


You wouldn’t believe how in the dream the driveway was a sheet of thick ice, and when I parked, the dog bounded out of the car, slid into a snow bank, and rolled, how that dream could be lodged in me in the summer like a quink, some hypothetical particle that is buried in my mind when the days are hot. And my son was young, bundled in a thick red coat, unsure why we stopped, why we had to step out in the cold when we never arrived where we were going.

Where were we going? I can tell you like a stenographer or illustrator, poised before blank pages with Quink, the dark ink as black as coal. But be patient; I’m working with a blank future now. We were going to a demonstration with our signs of Black Lives Matter, and we were covered in masks and sorrow and white guilt. Or we were going to the Amazon to unplant palm trees, replace cattle with spider monkeys. Or we were going to the liquor store to buy tequila, which I indulged in as my daily quink. You decide where we were going. All I know is that it was going to be a stop along the way to somewhere else because every destination is just a blink of the wide-open, wandering eye, a pause or revolution that settles into a new junket, another plan, another map.

It was summer in Colorado and here I was dreaming of snow. In our neighborhood pond the ducks were quinking and the sunfish and bass were dying for some reason, and the country was so full of grief that every wished-on star seemed like a satellite, another limited manmade concoction of metal instead of God-dust. In that dream my son told me something important, but when I awoke, I forgot what it was. I rolled out of bed with sleep still heavy in my eyes, and I tried to remember; I knew it was important. But all I remembered was how thick that ice was, thicker than you can imagine nature could make it, like it would never melt. And I wondered what was buried beneath it or beneath that ego-filter of my mind that hides from me half my dreams.



—After MacQ’s Quink Writing Challenge (see definitions below)

Quink definitions:

1. A portmanteau from “quick” and “ink,” Quink® is an ink for dip and fountain pens developed by the Parker Pen Company. Introduced in 1931, it has remained in production ever since (source: Wikipedia). Parker Quink Ink is also used to create paintings and illustrations.

2. A portmanteau from “quick” and “drink,” referring to a libation after a long day (work or otherwise).

3. A kind of goose, variously identified as the Brant goose (Brent goose in Europe) and the greylag.

4. A whimsical variation on the “quack” sound that ducks make.

5. In physics, a hypothetical fundamental particle; aka, preon, a sub-component of quarks.

6. A slang term for nerd.

Kika Dorsey
Issue 5, October 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 full-length Occupied: Vienna Is a Broken Man & Daughter of Hunger (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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