Dorothy, Ciera Land

The numbness started after her silhouette faded away
went from trading sly smiles
and dancing as fairies
in secret gardens
and on dimly lit sidewalks
to the longest ache I’ve ever felt
I keep the old her in creased handwritten letters
in tubes of rose lipstick
in pale apricot yellow yarn
and in namaste expelled breaths
from a place that is both
conscious and extinct

I’m scared I don’t know the figure in the mirror
Her looming shape is discombobulating
Her arms wrap around me but I don’t feel safe
I ran out of arbitrary distractions
and time feels so heavy
sweeping in with the tide and fading with the current
I wonder if this limited existence is living at all
or just another cheap abyss —
stretching as far as the horizon
only to collapse into a heap of dusty wires and gasoline smoke

Somehow I always find that my eyes are drawn to clocks —
the left hand always bigger than the right.
Days pass like freight trains —
loud and anxious,
but always spiraling to nowhere
or anywhere but here.

I remember when breathing was easy —
pine trees, white snow,
and imperfect, but, jubilant singing —
Not ever stale house and tired ink stained eyes.

I think sometimes love melts away
like scattered salt on ice
With it, my foggy blinders
and the imprints of her fingertips gripping mine.

About the Author

Grace Kennedy · Hope College

Grace Kennedy is a poet, artist, and aspiring human rights activist. She graduated from Hope College in Spring of 2022 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work with a minor in Peace & Justice Studies, and currently studies macro social work at Michigan State University. “Static” first appeared in Opus.

About the Artist

Ciera Land · California State University

Ciera Land graduated summa cum laude from California State University, Fresno in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art and Art History and an Interdisciplinary Minor in Humanities. Throughout her collegiate career, she studied abroad in England (2017-2018), Greece (2018) and Italy (2018), was initiated into The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi (2018), and worked in the Fresno chapter of the Prison Arts Collective (2019-2020). Her achievements include: The Edward O. Lund Scholarship (2017), The Adolf Odorfer Art Scholarship (2018, 2019), The Bertha and John Garabedian Scholarship (2019), Chancellor’s Gallery Awardee for CSU Summer Arts Drawing Outside the Box (2019), Best Painting at the Senior Student Art Exhibition (2020). Follow her on Instagram @lacedrain. This piece first appeared in Furrow and originally appeared in the October 2021 issue of plain china

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