I’m hungry all the time.
We forage in the Alps for mushrooms and elderberry blossoms
that we dip in cornmeal and fry from the butter
of a neighbor’s cow.
The oak and beech disappear as I climb
further to fir, larch, and pine.
I pick edelweiss and arnica
to set in the blue glass vase on our table.
We eat the polenta with what we have gathered,
and Mutti is always angry,
Vati a traveling tailor and never around,
Once we accidentally ate poisonous mushrooms.
I knew something was wrong when the August light
turned orange and from the faces of Russian soldiers
emerged black beetles,
and my brother lay holding his stomach and vomiting.
My stomach is full of knives.
It is an empty cavern, a cave
where my dead mother dwells below budding breasts.
Sometimes I want to cross the River Mur
and never return.
Sometimes the river roils in my body
and I pull the sun into me.
Sometimes I see a golden eagle on the elm tree.
He looks royal,
as if he’s won a war.
Kika Dorsey is a poet and English instructor from Boulder, Colorado. She has published in numerous journals, including the Columbia Review, KYSO Flash, The Denver Quarterly. She has two books published, Beside Herself (Flutter Press, 2010) and Rust (Word Tech Editions, 2016). She is currently working on a manuscript about post-WW2 Austria inspired by stories from her Austrian mother. When not writing, teaching, and raising her teenage children, she runs and hikes in the mountains and plains of her Colorado home.