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in my last lifetime
i swallowed
a fire
tucked its red embers
in the pocket of my cheek
and when i speak
there are still sparks
distant with righteous fury
that unbury themselves
from my underbelly
and rise to meet


and when i say her name
these embers
swell with persistent heat
a dawn glinting on my teeth
burn me at the stake
of her
spine           entwine our lives
again and again in this divine
of elementals and energy
our compulsion toward combustion
fire by frenzy and friction
to produce a shift in the timeline
of cosmos          ancestors and lineage
changed by our now
let her wildfire devour me
and empower me
to move more freely through this scorching earth


from the inside


Kai Coggin is a widely published poet, author, and poetry teaching artist with the Arkansas Arts Council and Arkansas Learning Through the Arts. She has authored two collections, PERISCOPE HEART (2014) and WINGSPAN (2016). Her third full-length collection INCANDESCENT is forthcoming from Sibling Rivalry Press in 2019. Her poetry has been nominated three times for The Pushcart Prize, as well as Bettering American Poetry 2015, and Best of the Net 2016 and 2018.

© 2019, Kai Coggin

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