Kika Dorsey




I found you curled in the hot spring
in the San Luis Valley,
where rust-red rock shines against setting sun.
We always loved water,
that element that touches our flesh
like every child that emerged from me.
I dip my fingers in it,
and it breaks into the bloom of claret cup cacti,
thick red petals and green stamen,
center as green as our sex.

And we always carried deserts
through the broken pavement of cities,
our fingers of cacti thorns,
yellow sand of skin,
yucca blooming white
between our wishbone legs.

Make a wish, you said,
and I saw teal-blue lakes, raucous rivers,
and me, swimming.
But our water is mostly underground,
rising in hiccups on the flat valley
where coyotes and antelope
are always alert for the chase,
where lizards scatter across the sand
like drops of water in wind.

I squinted in the sun and made three wishes:
one for the gate of sky to open
one for the children to erase the fence
one for their God to relinquish His throne
and on the shore of my body
are temples of thirst and nailed flesh,
wounds I tend in lit corridors that lead nowhere,
and holy water as clear
as the look I long to see in your eyes.