Baptized in Fire

In "Baptized in Fire" Cole Kissam contemplates the self through religion and music.
Prometheus shaped us from the Earth,
but I have one rib fewer than my mother. My hidden
self cuts me open to look for what is missing,
finds my energy too precious to sign away.
Still, I sign in spit. In spite is how I spread
my words: paranoia, betrayal and loss.
There is no difference in what I say, only
how I say it. I learned this from the burials
and burnings in my nightmares keeping
me from closing my lids. They say we all seep
back to clay one day, but I see Cudi in the flames.
His muscles hardened, his skin pink and luminescent.
Baptized in fire. He crashes from a high place,
splinters into a million particles, blessings
spilling from him, a now broken pot.
The fire that once contained him blesses
over my skin. Then, I shape myself.

 

 Cole is a student who learns as much from failing as he does from his teachers. His favorite poets include Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum and Reginald Dwayne Betts.
Visual art by “Yuga” Yujia Li.
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