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Kirkland & Alexander – May 2023

Rahne Alexander and Ashley Kirkland traded art and words. Rahne shared this song, titled “Found My Keys,” with Ashley:

In response, Ashley wrote this poem:

Wherever You Go

You led 
me here. Out 

of the desert
and into 

the current, 
the ricocheting 

spiral that once 
echoed across 

the desert 
like the coyote

who bays
in the night among

the jackrabbits 
and closed 

Saguaro cactus 
flowers waiting

for sun, warmth,
company. Scorpions

dart in the dark. 
Some things 

move while 
others sleep.

You end 
in the ocean—

all salt and seaweed
swirling 

in the current. 
I wandered

through the desert
sand on my hands

and knees, groped
in the dark 

so I could reach
the ocean. Quench

my body 
in the sea. Let

my frame float up
and down 

on the waves— 
fleshy buoy 

shimmering
in the sun.   

There was 
a time

when the dust 
rose as I made 

my way through 
the plains, dragged

my body over 
mountains

to touch you 
in the ocean, wade 

into the current 
palms pressed 

to the surface, drag 
my pinky 

in a circle
to splash you 

with the briny 
water— all salt 

and seaweed,
fine sand

underfoot,
wherever you go.

* * * * * *

Ashley shared this poem with Rahne:

To E.T. In a Wig

You hid in the closet 
with her toys, but now

Drew Barrymore’s got you dressed
in a blonde wig, pearls, 

a bowler-esque fascinator, bangles hanging
from your thin, brown wrists, 

draped in fabrics 
burgundy and floral— 

a real showstopper. The urge to hide,
to not be seen,

transcends humanity. You pull
open the door, carefully 

slide your body in and prop open
your eyes      just so—

life imitating life. And somehow
you were still the odd one, rejected

until you weren’t, questioned 
until it was time to go

and everyone stood around, atop soft pine
needles, palms grazing the high grass, the mother 

and son crying as the engines roared:   come— 
                                   stay.

In response, Rahne made this song, titled “E.T. Comes Out of the Closet”:

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