Dana Kinsey πŸ”ˆ


After Yusef Komunyakaa

I’ve always loved pink. The foam rollers my mother snap-closed meant I woke up all mermaid & ringlet. Bubblegum and Starburst pinked the pockets of my short shorts. I pranced around knock-out roses, hula hooped among peonies. But bleeding heart petals drifted to my vanity when my wrestling star boyfriend dumped me at a Valentine’s dance. Rose-colored glasses are smart accessories for crimes-of-the-heart victims. Snapdragons sound scary, but pink isn’t aggressive like her sister Red. Her power’s precise. Transformational. Flamingos hatch with gray feathers, pick at strawberry Pop-Tarts ‘til their pink plumage shocks Biscayne Bay. Crazy how they fly 40 miles per hour or just pose on one leg. Pink is delicious prerogative. Tropical guava pulp. Plump radishes. Purple-tipped turnips. The supermodel glow of Queen Conch, her spiral throne perched on coral reef. Blushing in the hot sun, I dove deep through ocean waves past pink lotus to see an axolotl with a permanent smile because she can actually regrow ripped-off limbs. I once balanced on wooden blocks and bloody feet as a ballerina, pointe shoes stained on the inside but satiny pink on the out. Like Barbie, I rode the elevator up and down my townhouse on tiptoes but never found myself tickled pink ‘til I watched fuchsia fire mingle with purple ink in Emily Dickinson’s sky. Her pink is my ceiling. My flooring. It’s the fleshy carpet my poems pirouette upon. You should know that I am a sea star. Pink enough to camouflage me from predators. Wild enough to gather love like the cotton candy machine at the fair.

Author Reading

About the Author

Dana Kinsey is an actor and teacher published in Fledgling Rag, Drunk Monkeys, ONE ART, On the Seawall, Porcupine Literary, Sledgehammer Lit, West Trestle Review, Continue the Voice, Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, Fixator Press, Syncopation Literary Journal, The Pine Cone Review, Ariel Chart, and Prose Online. Her play, WaterRise, was produced at the Gene Frankel Theatre. Her chapbook, Mixtape Venus, is published by I. Giraffe Press. Find her online at wordsbyDK.com, on Twitter @wordsbyDK, and on Instagram @dana.kinsey.