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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 6: January 2021
Poem: 150 words
By Kika Dorsey

And There Is Joy


People are struggling to breathe, 
we are wearing masks, 
and the country is the bridge I was born on 
and its floor is breaking, 
waters beneath so rough and rippled, 
and I am growing old. 

But yesterday I felt joy 
at the wild rose along the ditch, 
the way one two-by-four is wide enough 
for me to cross the water, 
at how I swam with my daughter 
in a turquoise pool 
that glinted in the Colorado sun, 
at the grittiness of my husband. 

We light tiki lamps at dinner 
and I am surprised 
how the element that took down 
our home two years ago, 
that even those hungry flames 
give me joy today 
in how they laughed at the sky, 
how they trembled with it, 
and even heaven 
could take itself less seriously, 
could withhold its ashes 

like holding its breath 
in anticipation 
of another day. 


Kika Dorsey
Issue 6, January 2021

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) 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). 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 five times for the Pushcart Prize.

An instructor of English at Front Range Community College, Ms. Dorsey also 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: http://kikadorsey.com

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Bed of Ashes, prose poem by Kika Dorsey in KYSO Flash (Issue 10, Fall 2018)

Run Dry, poem from Occupied: Vienna Is a Broken Man, & Daughter of Vienna here in MacQ (Issue 5, October 2020)

Guest Post by Kika Dorsey about her latest book, in The Copperfield Review (21 October 2020)

The Quink of an Eye, prose poem in MacQ-5 (October 2020)

Hormonal, micro-fiction in our debut issue (January 2020)

“My Belly Is Pregnant with Night”: A Micro-Review of Kika Dorsey’s Rust by Clare MacQueen in KYSO Flash (Issue 6, Fall 2016)

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