I let him do what he will to me—
we are traveling into the waves
and the ocean is torn by swells.
I am cautious. The moon,
it can barely be sensed,
it cannot be helped.
I learned something, I am learning.
I am untangling a rope.
I am caught by a breaking wave.
The boat is rolling from side to side
I tell of my going to town—
What he threw broke through,
it has broken away.
Translated into English from Inupiaq by the poet.
From Milk Black Carbon (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2017) by Joan Naviyuk Kane. Used with the permission of the poet.