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Ki Russell

Pendleton, Oregon

Ki Russell is author of the hybrid genre novel The Wolf at the Door (Ars Omnia Publishing, 2014), the poetry collection Antler Woman Responds (Paladin Contemporaries, 2014) and the chapbook How to Become Baba Yaga (Medulla Publishing, 2011). She is a peer reviewer for the online literary journal Whale Road Review. She teaches writing and literature at Blue Mountain Community College.

On Twitter: @Ki_E_Russell

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Fire Season
Ki Russell

In the Fire Season

                                                                                                      we watched the horizon smoulder.

Each evening we painted our tent

                                                          with water and salt

                                                                                   but  we did not move.

In the flickering light

                                                          I traced the snake

inked into your forearm.

                                                         It awoke and slithered

                                                                                                                 from your skin

                                                                                                                                             to my finger.

The serpent coiled into my palm

                                                                                     where it reared

                                                           and sank fangs

in the pocket below my thumb.

                                                         I felt no pain —

                                                         only a tingle

                                                         as the snake dissolved.