by Hollie Dugas
pocket of the world does my dead father perform
his magic tricks, pull wings from his pockets like lint?
I use them to what? Escape the world’s hum-drum?
But, who am I to question my father’s ingenuity—
his moonwalking presence. Father, to what do I owe
this pleasure, these in-between performances
like secret gigs you happen into my world acting
much like your vast black father-hat? I live in its bucket,
a little pretense practicing my small and worldly tune.
I am as insatiable as my father ever was. And I am dead
to myself without his interval magic. I sit in this world’s
ear like a little coin humming in-between his tricks,
waiting to be slipped into life, to emerge
with masterpiece like his precious pocket starling.
Hollie Dugas lives in New Mexico. Her work has been selected to be included in Barrow Street, Reed Magazine, Crab Creek Review, Redivider, Porter House Review, Pembroke, Salamander, Poet Lore, Watershed Review, Mud Season Review, Little Patuxent Review, The Louisville Review, The Penn Review, Chiron Review, Louisiana Literature, and CALYX. Hollie has been nominated for a 2020 Pushcart Prize and for inclusion in Best New Poets 2021. She has also been a finalist twice for the Peseroff Prize at Breakwater Review, Greg Grummer Poetry Prize at Phoebe, Fugue’s Annual Contest, and has received Honorable Mention in Broad River Review. Additionally, “A Woman’s Confession #5,162” was selected as the winner of Western Humanities Review Mountain West Writers’ Contest (2017). Most recently, her poem was selected as winner of the 22nd Annual Lois Cranston Memorial Poetry Prize at CALYX, in addition to, the 2022 Heartwood Poetry Prize. She was also a finalist in the Atlanta Review’s 2022 International Poetry Contest. Currently, she is on the editorial board for Off the Coast.