Tonight I draw a raven’s wing inside a circle measured a half second before it expands into a hand. I wrap its worn grip over our feet as we thrash against pine needles inside the earthen pot. He sings an elegy for handcuffs, whispers its moment of silence at the crunch of rush-hour traffic, and speaks the dialect of a forklift, lifting like cedar smoke over the mesas acred to the furthest block. Two headlights flare from blue dusk --the eyes of ravens peer at Coyote biting his tail in the forklift, shaped like another reservation-- another cancelled check. One finger pointed at him, that one--dishwasher, he dies like this with emergency lights blinking though the creases of his ribbon shirt. A light buzzed loud and snapped above the kitchen sink. I didn’t notice the sting of the warning: Coyote scattering headlights instead of stars; howling dogs silenced by the thought of the moon; constellations rattling from the atmosphere of the quivering gourd. How many Indians have stepped onto train tracks, hearing the hoofbeats of horses in the bend above the river rushing at them like a cluster of veins scrawled into words on the unmade bed? In the cave on the backside of a lie soldiers eye the birth of a new atlas, one more mile, they say, one more mile.
1. I haven’t _________ since smoke dried to salt in the lakebed, since crude oil dripped from his parting slogan, the milk’s sky behind it, birds chirping from its wig. Strange, how they burrowed into the side of this rock. Strange . . . to think, they "belonged" and stepped through the flowering of a future apparent in the rearview mirror, visible from its orbit around a cluster of knives in the galaxy closest to the argument. Perhaps it was September that did this to him, his hostility struck the match on handblown glass, not him, he had nothing to do with their pulse, when rocks swarmed over and blew as leaves along the knife’s edge into summer, without even a harvest between their lies they ignited a fire— it reached sunlight in a matter of seconds. 2. It is quite possible it was the other guy clammed inside my fist who torched the phone book and watched blood seep from the light socket. Two days into leaving, the river’s outer frond flushes worms imagined in the fire onto the embankment of rust, mud deep when imagination became an asterisk in the mind. In this hue— earth swept to the center of the eye, pulses outward from the last acre held to the match’s blue flame. Mention _________, and a thickening lump in the ozone layer will appear as a house with its lights turned off— radio waves tangled like antlers inside its oven, because somewhere in the hallway nearest thirst, the water coursing through our clans begins to evaporate as it slides down our backseats— its wilderness boiled out of our bodies.