k i i k     a r a k i - k a w a g u c h i





tin dragon



That I will be a destroyer of birds

Birds fed no voice
Birds by wings tongue-painted back by glue

Birds soaking in sacks
slung on rafters

Wrung tongues running slack
flapping against pinning blade and wing blade

Sacks dripping from rafters
like gassed canisters
of moth-snuffed sight

Birds been born of no teeth

Must I chew their voice
and give it back like a mother

Must that I would feed the angels
gruel from my lips

Feed them my lips by poor imitation of their voice

I have plucked flight from the angel’s gruesome body
I have painted the rafters by the angel’s flight

For the roof might rise and carry
by their song


tin dragon


welcome the cliff saying,
the salt off my eyelash weighs
over the heavens a ship of manic snow
to fall from a great distance
is to draw this house around yourself like a ribbon
or a casket
there are raisins
there is honey
there are boughs of rosemary and dill
loaves of spelt bread pelt the roof of your tomb
you smell none of it
you are face down
your snout is shot through
with the fog-drenched earth
with rust and clay
you can see into Persephone’s bed chamber
she is undressing
a necklace of pomegranate seeds sways at her bare nipples
you would call to her but your tongue swells in your jaws
like an overripe mussel
your head feels packt with cloves, soaked rags
it must be winter
somewhere you are just a hoofprint
chafing under the force of another hoofprint
somewhere every hoofprint is delivered
to the dead as a presence
somewhere in your absence a cricket
is lapping up the snow
your name and any name can be buried
under the salt of my tongue


KIIK A.K. is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and Santa Clara University. He earned an MA from UC Davis where his poetics thesis was titled “THE JOY OF HUMAN SACRIFICE.” He is a current graduate student of creative writing at UC San Diego. The pieces included here were written for the poet Alan B. Williamson.

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