Kasy Long is a senior creative writing major at Ohio Northern University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Sigma Tau Delta Rectangle, Otoliths, The Sucarnochee Review, Glass Mountain, The RavensPerch, and Polaris Literary Magazine. In her free time, she watches I Love Lucy, reads Emily Dickinson’s poetry, and dreams about the beautiful Lake Chautauqua in western New York. After graduation, she hopes to work in communications for a thriving cultural museum.
To Miss the Mark
I let the arrow soar;
it swings through the trees and I watch it disappear.
I pray no animals are lost, then I hear the groans.
I turn my back and raise the bow.
I shoot the arrow into the air,
then wait for it to meet its victim.
I whisper an apology.
The release is intoxicating,
the snap of the bow as the arrow flies into
the forest woods.
Faint whines bounce and echo in the trees.
I lower my arm,
let the passing fawn wander.
For Dorothy Kilgallen
Am I right in assuming that you withheld information for your next news article? That you went to the grave with a poisoned throat, a tainted tongue, a swallowed heart? Am I right in assuming that you feared for lost opportunities? You aimed for quick wits and justice. Crimes excited you; answers fueled your brain. You knew who shot JFK, didn’t you? You knew who put a bullet in his brain, who drained American politics, who was a part of the Oswald team. People answered, “What’s my line?” in your presence. Or rather, you asked them questions to figure out the clues. Tell us, what’s your line? You hid evidence behind closed doors; you found joy in scribbled documents. Pencil shavings sprinkled your newspaper desk. A fresh piece of paper remained locked in your typewriter. They found you, dead in your New York apartment, fallen in chaotic bedsheets with an empty pill bottle resting in your cold hand. Tears releasing droplets of secrets on your velvet pillowcase. Ssh, ssh, the secret is too controversial. Ssh, ssh, you should’ve stayed quiet, chinless star. What’s your line, Dorothy Kilgallen?
We’ll Be Fine
For Langston Hughes’s “Life is Fine”
Sweet Daddy came to me in a dream.
I sank deeper into my midnight musing,
his face greeted me in the dark.
I came up from the trance and screamed
into the night. I saw him drowning
in a cold bed of water—dying with his eyes
closed tightly in fear.
I shivered in the cot. It was cold!
When I shut my eyes, I saw him rising
above the ground. He called to me,
I wished to bring him to me.
I cried for him, my sweet Daddy,
I hollered in my dream.
“Daddy, no! Life is fine!”
But I was trapped in here! Trapped so deep!
But living is what my Daddy dreamed. So he chose
to live for me. He chose not to sink in the water.
I’ll be angry, sweet Daddy,
if you try to leave me. Don’t sink, float.
We’ll be fine! Fine as wine! We’ll be fine!
Ode to the Gentle Dancer
when your dancing light twinkles and shines,
so does my pulsing, beating heart.
It waits for your tempo, your cue,
your rhythmic appearance in the nighttime sky.
It sees the dancing light and responds with delight.
stay with me tonight and shine.
Be the ancient star under the moon’s glow.
Light on, light off.
Light on, light off.
Twinkle, twinkle, little dancing star.
you bring rays of soft dull hope
in the darkness of my midnight musings.
A beauty like yours is so rare,
shine for me, gentle dancer of the air.
Ode to the Remington Typewriter
Dripping with themes and metaphors
about nature, songs, life—the olive green tool
calls to my mind, summons the ghosts of past
ideas, and brings them to life.
The machine clinks and clanks
toward inspiration—sending knowledge
to the black keys and ink ribbons.
The sewing machine tick-tick-tick of the keys
chimes words into my mind.
This Remington is not perfect;
small scratches cover its edges,
keys stick and jam in place, words with
noticeable errors on the page.
The typewriter resides in nostalgia shops.
A vintage treasure-keep,
a rusted tool, a friend,
a muse, a watchman over my insecurities.
Stealing words from minds,
turning them into voices.