Kara Dorris


I know what I’d wish for
if I fell from the sky

I know—lying on my back in black
lace panties that ride
tight like my skin in your bed when
you aren’t home—  

I know what I need & it isn’t you

Or the gold-gilded mirror in my hand
saying it was never me

but something else—the way
a porn star gazes & gazes, moans to make
you believe it’s story

more than bodies, bodies more than
rivers of sweat & release


So we dance
             to keep our breastplate cities rising
             bones from solidifying

to keep the right to walk away

Backed against a subway door
we wear motormen gloves to feel  

bodies without payment

Your hands/my hands
sundials or walking canes

never our own
in a room full of other hands


We’re dust, cover-ups

Sierra Madre treasure masked
in artificial plants, breasts & sweeteners  


What would we do if we lost electricity?

Let the constant dark make our eyes colder
forget how to absorb heat?

My skin, a jealous, deficient warmer
craves an excuse
to carve power-lines into licorice


Rescue sirens blare, docks & stars wreck away

What river, after straightened & channeled
would revert back?

What river wouldn’t?

What body would be content
with being just another in the dark?

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