If you listen really close
my dog can say hello.
He isn’t showy about it
but the intonations of his mouth
can shape into conversation, I swear.
I ask him where the keys are
and he says I don’t know
but isn’t that the key anyway? Asking.
The tallest tree in the world
is named Hyperion, and he hides in the redwood forest,
where, no one knows but a few scientists.
More than two statues of liberty tall,
let’s put our country’s torch in his treetops,
our liberties are shrinking
the world will not recognize our shores.
Hyperion, clouds sweep your limbs and kiss your green face.
Take a deep breath, giant, your secret is safe.
We know you stand for other things
besides our small grandeur.
I like to look at the wonder of it all.
Do you know that all of the white sand
on beaches is made from the poop of the parrotfish?
Little macaw mouthed slick rainbows
crunching on dead coral
until their bodies turn it to crystalline granules
of everything we want to escape to,
swimming sand factories,
loose cloud explosions as much as
840 pounds of sand a year from a little fish.
What is the heaviness you carry and let go?
I like to look at the numbers of it all, like
there are seven quintillion, five hundred quadrillion grains of sand in the world.
How does one even quantity the infinitesimal?
Yet, we do.
We have to categorize and number,
define and organize so that we can fall into the illusion of mastery
and ownership over all our so-called dominion, but all that sand,
that incomprehensible universe of whittled-down everything,
will outlast all of our counting.
My dog says I love you
from the other room.
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 Sinister Wisdom, 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. www.kaicoggin.com