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Kelly Dolejsi

KellyDMy work has been published in Cincinnati Review, North American Review, Denver Quarterly, Fifth Wednesday, Under a Warm Green Linden, Landfill, and Metafore, among other journals. In 2017, my poem “Loyalty” was nominated for the Best of the Net. My chapbook, That Second Starling, was published by Desert Willow Press in 2018. A graduate of Emerson College in Boston, I now live in Los Alamos, NM.


The Exterminator

It burrowed underneath my skin so smoothly,
so delicately, I didn’t feel a thing. It wasn’t till
later I noticed a lump, a wad of not-me, itchy
and red, unremitting, not a tumor but a nag —
long-distance running brought no relief, nor
2 a.m. ecstasy, dancing with soft fingers wrapped
all around me, not even marriage or children.
I became familiar with the pulsing, tender
settlement on my hairline, used to it, pleased
to have this hiding spot, a jot of something
other that was also me, a remote and alien world
but also my body. I took to wearing hats. To
smiling, knowing someday it would emerge
onto my pillow, and I wouldn’t be able to save it.
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