All dark long drafting in bed,
I scratch my longing down your shoulder blades—

Your dual-purpose back, a dry erase board,
upraises pink wherever I touch it.

Mark a wild garden. A map you read
each morning in the mirror.
A hidden-in-skin compass: rose lines & needles,

sun marks & riverbeds so you will know my direction
when you return, imprinting my felt, sound-absent

words. But sometimes it’s more.
Circles traced absently, like whirlpools in sand

or veins like so many vortexes,
so much to remember.

Kara Dorris received her MFA in creative writing from New Mexico State University where she currently teaches English. Her work has appeared in Wicked Alice, Skidrow Penthouse, Prick of the Spindle, and Parcel as well as other literary journals.