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The Poets - Caitlin Coey

At ten, they released me,

these swordsmen,

these magicians,

pulling thread after thread of meaning

out of their fine silk,

tweed, and cotton sleeves,

loosening the hinges

of what was possible.

The taste of metal released into the air,

a spark caught.

A trail of gun powder led

from my heart to my head

to my hand,

as I put pen to paper.

11 years later,

I lay my forehead

down on this stack

of books—Whitman,

Collins, Olds--

as if to learn them by osmosis,

to absorb with my third eye:

how to be

or not be

in this world,

to take a step

towards the doorknob along the wall

in the dark.


Caitlin Coey is a queer poet and playwright. Her writing focuses on gender-based violence, mental health, queer love, and the importance of friendship. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles. Her poetry has appeared in Shambles, The Roadrunner Review, and Awakened Voices. Follow her work at and on Instagram @coeywrites.


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