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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 8: June 2021
Poem: 113 words
By Kika Dorsey

This Empty Space

I am not the little girl 
crying over her dead hamster, 
or after her fall while ice-skating in the rink. 

I am not the yellow schefflera leaf 
I prune and compost 
to give the other leaves a better chance. 
I am not the extracted tooth 
or the grounded baseball 
or the broken tile on our roof. 

What I am 
is this empty space between us, 
with dust motes 

and more oxygen than we’ll ever 
need to breathe. 
In this place my empty hands 

fill with you, 
my palms lined with an oracle 
you channel in the dark, 

brushing across your shoulders, 
grasping the bone, 
and then, the hardest part, 



Kika Dorsey
Issue 8, June 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

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