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


The pieces here are dedicated to the writer and teacher, Claudia Monpere McIsaac.


all day the hogg…

i don't think you get to keep it



the hogg

the hogg
the herbs

being hacked
and tied


the herbs

being the

hogg watches
all day
tied herbs


being hacked
all day

down all
day all
day all day

hogg herbs
being tied
being hacked


the hogg
being tied
hogg hacked

tied hogg
hacked hogg
all herbs

watches all
watches the hogg
all day


the day
hogg watches
all hacked

tied all
day tied

hogg day
herbs being
tied down


tied being
hacked all day
down hogg

day hacked
all hacked

hogg the hogg
watches hogg
watches hacked


all being

down all day
hogg down
tied herbs

herbs hacked
all the hogg
being hogg


i don't think you get to keep it


I've never known a love
That traded me delight
For any less than ten times
The days of trouble and defeat
Or a love I thought was pure
That didn't make me starve myself
And beat myself to keep it
I don't think you get to keep it
You only get to borrow
The best things especially a miracle
I don't know if love ever
Can be truly achieved
Some things you see
Them only a minute
Then they demand
Your continual pursuit
I don't see this really
As about your happiness
I say you don't get to know this thing
So you can live in a space of newness
And happiness all your years
I say this really
Is about loss and impossibility
I think this lifetime cannot help
But extend beyond the people
And the geographies we care for
When you have confronted
The impossibility of living without them
When you have loved someone so feverishly
Every molecule of you was dying
And you touched the only part
Of another person that was infinite
And it was their dying
You remember you never
Can truly lose anything
There is a ghost quantity that remains
There is this twin existence that moves over
I think it's worth saying
Most of us have known ten times the suffering
As we have delight
But there is ten times this life
Beyond suffering or delight
There is love that doesn't compromise
Itself to our groping for its definition
Isn't that really worth
All our trouble and defeat
Isn't that really the better miracle


KIIK A.K. earned a MA from UC Davis where his poetics thesis was titled "THE JOY OF HUMAN SACRIFICE" and a MFA from UC San Diego where his collection of counter-internment narratives was titled EVERYDAY COLONIALISM. He also holds degrees from UC Berkeley and Santa Clara University. He is currently at work on a book of poems titled HOGG BOOK. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in iO, Washington Square, Action Yes, CutBank and alice blue review.

in issue eighteen

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