KB Kinkel


KB Kinkel



You live two decades a desert
your seasons imperceptible. 

Flamed clean, you are a moth’s memory
of air. 

They give you a name, then
that means pure— 

in these quicklime days,
even beloved bodies dissolve

fast as the crescent on the cottontail,
the silence it leaves.

When the rains come, you feel them only
as longing— aster smear

along the mountain ridge, soft beating
on the hardpan caked. The kind of rain

that falls until even the saguaros forget
what a century is. In time

you turn amphibious, two lives
will boast your ribbed belly

to a nearer moon. These shrinking lungs
can only signify a revolving back

into water, into heat— shallow seas
where matter only potentiates

all your possible selves.
Wading the rising salt

preludes impossible return
to a previous world.

To pull your body through these currents
you must learn not to need this air.


KB Kinkel teaches literature and creative writing at Worcester Academy and holds an MFA in poetry from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Their poetry and writing have appeared or are forthcoming in The Rumpus, PreludeEckleburg, and elsewhere.