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Best of Irish Poetry 2009
Best of Irish Poetry 2010

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Songs of Earth and Light

Songs of Earth and Light
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KARA DORRIS

 

 

Kara DorrisCurrently, Kara Dorris is a PhD candidate in literature and poetry at the University of North Texas where she teaches writing. She received her MFA in poetry from New Mexico State University in 2009. Her poetry has appeared in The Tusculum Review, Harpur Palate, Wicked Alice, Prick of the Spindle, Parcel, Cutbank, The Tulane Review, Carte Blanche, Stone Highway Review, Wordgathering, Redheaded Stepchild, The Medulla Review, Crazyhorse and Skidrow Penthouse among others literary journals, as well as the anthology Beauty is a Verb (Cinco Puntos Press, 2011). Dancing Girl Press published her chapbook, Elective Affinities, in 2011. Her second chapbook, Night Ride Home, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2012. She is the founding editor of Lingerpost, an online poetry journal.

 

 


 

 

      Under the missing & innumerable stars

 

He might be homeless, but you know where he lives—

exposed to the streets & fists, rain & mosquitoes,

the red & blue pulses married to police sirens.

 

At 3 a.m. his home is a post-tragedy parking lot,

as hushed & hollow as your bedroom.

Beneath lids, the white of your eyes flicker like headlights. 

 

You prick & scab your arms like your own mosquito,

sweat & nails, bite & sting. The sound

of sheets dragging across each other, across skin

 

is as close as you get to hearing sirens.

Intimacy is knowing where someone sleeps.

You shadow his trail of paper-bag bottles.

 

His starved body, his hands never crusading & never crafting,

as feral as your father’s. The presence of those fevered,

black-tinged fingers is why you retreat,

 

but his eyes are a bronzed balm, not a toxic hazel,

& this absence is why you remain.

Intimacy is projecting your memories onto others.

 

Your father could be homeless somewhere too,

a victim of cocaine or foreclosure. He could be

sleeping in an alley between 7/11 & someone else’s patio,

 

or dead or alone. But you know: Intimacy is

wondering if someone you love is dead or alive,

loving someone for simply who they are not.

 

When you sleep flush against hands that accept you;

when you are born into hands that do not.

 

 

 

©2015 Kara Dorris

 

 

Author Links

 

Lingerpost

Kara Dorris at Finishing Line Press

'Osteochonroma Lineage': poem in Wordgathering

 

 

 

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