KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 5: Spring 2016
Haibun: 240 words

Caring for Lezane

by Kika Dorsey

There are too many dogs, and I’m in a small apartment, with crocheted blankets lying across chairs and a tiny kitchen, bags of kibble on its gray counter. A Chihuahua playfully jumps on my leg, two Irish Setters sit regally at the threshold into the dining room, and the rest sprawl across the living room’s oriental rug.

I am calling to the old black Lab, Lezane. Dust coats his fur, and his eyes are rheumy like dirty mirrors, and his arthritic legs move stiffly towards me, and I kneel to place his wide head gently between my hands. His smooth fur feels like a peeled branch of oak my lover carved into a flute for me. His yellow-brown eyes are as soft as milkweed, gray fur speckles his face, and his gaze is that lover’s voice that told me we would be together forever.

I have loved like a hermit her cave. I have danced with its fire’s shadows and stepped out of it into piercing light and a river like the tongue that has known me. And now I take care of the dogs. I brush the dust out of their coats; I feed them kibble and fish oil and leftover turkey; I bring them into parks of green, mowed grass. I sit on their benches with Lezane at my side, my hand on his neck, caressing,

remembered words
of a lover’s mouth
in my fingers

—From the author’s collection-in-progress Coming Up for Air

Kika Dorsey
Issue 5, Spring 2016

is a poet and professor from Boulder, Colorado. Her work has been published in numerous journals, most recently the Indiana Voice Journal, The Dr. T.J. Eckleburg Review, Narrative Northeast, Glint, and others. Her chapbook Beside Herself was published by Flutter Press (2010), and her collection, Rust, is forthcoming this year with WordTech Editions. When not writing, teaching, and mothering two teenagers, she enjoys hiking and running in the plains and mountains of her Colorado home.

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Coming Up for Air, a poem in Drunk Monkeys (7 May 2015)

Three Poems in Indiana Voice Journal (1 May 2015); includes “Horses,” “Mother’s Little Helper,” and “Yggdrasil”

In Berlin, a poem in Eckleburg (The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review)

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