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Tacey M. Atsitty

Tacey M. Atsitty is the author of Rain Scald (University of New Mexico Press, 2018). She teaches Native American history and culture for a private non-profit organization in Salt Lake City, Utah.

By This Poet

1

River Sonnet

Water levels have bled out,
like it had just bitten its lip
& was about to swell— then rip:
had I paid better attention to drought,
listened more to the stars and stayed
with mountain clouds, I’d have let go
of the knot swing hanging above the slow
life flow beneath my legs, I’d have prayed

to forget all the times he came to me
but not wanted me: how fast it rises,
carrying plumes of pang in undercurrent:
swirls of sediment & silt around my knees—
the dragging stalks and leaves of irises,
how pathetic they look breaking in torrent—