Immediately after the two brothers entered The Seafood Shoppe with their wide-eyed wives and extra-brown complexioned stepchildren, the shrimp scampi sauce suddenly altered its taste to bitter dishsoap. It took a moment to realize the notorious twosome were "carrying" medicines, and that I was most likely the next target in the supernatural shooting gallery. It was yet another stab at my precious shadow, ne no ke we ni, the one who always Stands First, wildly unafraid but vulnerable. This placement of time, this chance meeting at Long John Silver's had already been discussed over the burning flower clusters, approved, and scheduled for a divine assassination. What an ideal place to invisibly send forth a petraglyph thorn to the sensitive and unsuspecting instep I thought. Out of fear I had to spit out the masticated crustacean into the folded Dutch bandana. I signalled Selene with my eyes: something is terribly wrong here. Even in the old stories, ke ta-a ji mo na ni, my grandmother recited there was always disagreement, jealousy, and animosity between supernatural deities. That actuality for humans, me to se na ni wa ki, however was everpresent. It didn't conclude as an impasse that gave us the weather, the four seasons, the stars, sun, and moon. Everything that was held together. Unfortunately, there could only be one re-creation of earth. If it was requested in the aura of the blue flower that I die, the aura would make sure I die. . . Later, the invisible thorn--when removed by resident-physicians (paying back their medical loans)--would transform into some unidentifiable protoplasm and continue to hide in the more sensitive, cancer-attracting parts of the fish- eater. In the mythical darkness that would follow the stories the luminescent mantle of the kerosene lamp would aptly remind me of stars who cooled down in pre-arranged peace--to quietly wait and glow.
Our Bird Aegis
An immature black eagle walks assuredly
across a prairie meadow. He pauses in mid-step
with one talon over the wet snow to turn
around and see.
Imprinted in the tall grass behind him
are the shadows of his tracks,
claws instead of talons, the kind
that belongs to a massive bear.
And he goes by that name:
Ma kwi so ta.
And so this aegis looms against the last
spring blizzard. We discover he’s concerned
and the white feathers of his spotted hat
flicker, signaling this.
With outstretched wings he tests the sutures.
Even he is subject to physical wounds and human
tragedy, he tells us.
The eyes of the Bear-King radiate through
the thick, falling snow. He meditates on the loss
of my younger brother—and by custom
suppresses his emotions.