KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 5: Spring 2016
Prose Poem: 376 words


by Kika Dorsey

I am collecting silhouettes. The light behind them comes from a winter sky. They have sharp edges and cut my hands if I’m not careful, and their blackness blankets me when the nights grow cold. They are as silent as the snow and naked willow.

I have a broken mailbox, and I wonder if he forgot to write or whether the wind took his words away. He was color—hair of paprika, blue jeans and a shirt so green you could eat it. I think I loved him. Now he wanders the jungles of Borneo and collects macaques for the zoo, and I sit at home in black and white like Bacall and Bogart, always sparring with my world.

Once it was summer and we rode horses on the prairie and the horseflies kept biting us, our arms swatting and my mind leagues under the sea, breathing water and touching purple sea fans. I was like that, always dwelling where I wasn’t. He pointed across a yellow cornfield and said, Look, and all I saw was the sun sinking, pink and orange cloud streaks, and I wondered if I missed something, if he could see behind the light.

The silhouettes have no names and they dance behind a white screen when I let them go. One of them fought me and still my hands bleed, but I lay him down and his black lips touched me and he crawled, then stood, then stretched across the world like sorrow, and I watched him disappear, and I did nothing to stop him. I bandaged my hands and wrapped light across my eyes just so I could see color. I watched the dark dance of the others and pined for him.

Now the bulbs in the earth stir and it is almost spring. When I look at the ground, I begin to see green. There is another fight in my head, bitter words against sisters like sharp sea coral and I in that sea when only mountains rise before me, and I think of him again, his hair like fire, and I think of leaving, but there is no place to go when my mind does it all, and my body carries all the shadows of the world.

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