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Kai Coggin


last night
before sleep
she drew pictures on my back
with her fingers
a test of my spacial recognition
my ability to form
a horse
a sun
a sailboat
from the movement of her fingertip traces
against my skin
to see it
take shape in my mind’s eye
invisible palette

the curvature of my back
competing with her delicate design
of flower
and I cannot guess
cannot translate the trace to shape
each time         she erases
whole palm swipes in the dark
tries again
and I am the worst at this game
just being touched
by the fingertip of this artist
just having my skin rise to meet her

all I can picture in these traces




Kai Coggin is a queer Filipino-American poet living in the valley of a small mountain in Hot Springs National Park, AR. She received her B.A. in English, Poetry, and Creative Writing from Texas A&M University. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Assaracus, Anti-Heroin Chic, Lavender Review, Calamus Journal, Blue Heron Review, Yellow Chair Review, and elsewhere. 

Kai is the author of two full-length collections, PERISCOPE HEART (Swimming with Elephants, 2014) and WINGSPAN (Golden Dragonfly Press, 2016), as well as a spoken word album called SILHOUETTE (2017). Her poetry has been nominated twice for The Pushcart Prize, as well as Bettering American Poetry 2015, and Best of the Net 2016.