Newton’s third law
states that
every action
has an equal and opposite reaction,

that there are forces constantly

at odds,
at war,
the push and pull
and standstill of atoms all around us,

waiting to react
to whatever comes.

What is the opposite reaction to this chaos?

How far into darkness will the pendulum swing

until we swing back





Kai Coggin.jpg

Pronouns: She/Her

2 Poems

Kai Coggin


Directions to My Childhood


Directions to My Childhood

off the highway
turn right on Rio Bonito

another right on Sierra Blanca

end up at Presidio West
and you might find me there

almost unbroken

knock on Sherry’s door
the babysitter who watches
a pack of us latchkeys after school

she probably won’t answer
don’t knock again

follow the secrets
down the sidewalk to the big green boxes
the giant sage cubes of metal
that hold in electric meters or connections

who even knows?
some currents can’t be contained or explained

there is a clubhouse there
sure it doesn’t look like one but it’s there

the password is scratched into the
the circle of hedges
you may hear us laughing
or crying

if anyone asks you which
during truth or dare
always say dare
the truth is not something we speak of

in these circles

we are all make-believe and forget-me-not

we are all bliss and recovery
we are all cover up and don’t make waves

something is hiding in us

ask Gabe if he still has that gun he brought on the school bus
tell Jessica to tell me a new tragedy that does not involve my cat and a fast car

tell Tiffanie she will mix drinks for a living and do it well
tell Derrick that football isn’t going to save him
tell Carmen she will end up just like her mother strong kind clutching young

tell me it’s going to be okay

wait for the streetlights to come on
then wait a few more hours for mom to come home and kiss us goodnight

how 10:30 might as well be 3am in our little waitings

wait there

you will find me warming something on the stove

you will see me not doing homework
you will see me full of questions
you will see me become

husband father
hardly little
you will see me waiting for childhood

to be something

I can control

I see you coming

don’t stop

keep going

all that is left here has turned to dust