Between Buffalo Skulls and Skyscrapers

I sit next to the scorched stone
Of a man twenty years gone
The rock still resonates
To the pulse of a hand drum
Nothing left but dissembled stone
Rust of an old car
The altar where a man stood
Four days in the earth
Arrowheads buried
In abandoned school house wells

Down this Wolf Creek lane
My grandfather’s father used to drive
I’m looking at the sun go down
Did he see the same lonely glint?
When it shears the ice just right
A person never felt so alone
And bare as before this sky

Home, that’s what this dust will always be
Home, the ghosts call around midnight
In abandoned fields
Their language old
Forgotten by the world
Home, the sunflowers tucking me away while
Feral monsters snap at each other’s flanks
In the human race of world powers


And ah, I’m lowest of these
In this great American totem
So much spit slathers off my face
It gathers at my feet
And threatens to drown me

So sick of glass ceilings breaking
The neck of anyone who tries to fly
Until they fall back into the slum lord’s
Minimum wage torture rack of just getting by

Spit slathers from my face
Where spiders put on cowboy hats
To war with gunslinging silverfish
Over who gets to slurp
The biggest septic pool of slime

Spit, this American pipe dream
What they don’t tell is a CEO sits
Pointing to a sign like a carnival ride
“Gotta be this colonized, homogenized
To climb the capitalist ferris ride”

And everyone I ever loved disappeared
Like thrown away roses of yesteryear
In the spine of the sagebrush canyons
Are buried Judas and many daggers

How courageous the rhetoric of revolution sounds
Without sacrifice, without courage
The emptiness of syllables is cheap crafted of
Vulture’s making the most obnoxious sound
Waiting to feed, then impress with their belches
So spit slathers down my face

I have no answers under the moon tonight
I dance the razor wire between two worlds
And I am falling through the cracks in the flag
Each stripe a tar pit of moldering skeletons

“Dreg of society, cast away, dreamy nobody”
Is what they call the dark horse candidates
Still fight, rattle arrowheads in the dark
Stand against the most enormous of hopeless tides
Because some battles are worth losing
Some tyrants deserve nothing but a middle finger
Pointed toward their gullet
Until you draw your last breath
I too sing America, like the old Langston Hughes poem

I have no answers under the moon tonight
Yet I sit on a reservation
Watch the world become plastic
Soon it will be cold enough
To be numb in the subzero soils

Yet tonight, a fire still smolders on the hill
Faint, fragile. I’ll fan you back to life
I’ll shield you until you can burn
And when you can burn, burn out of control
A flame from below the uranium plastic
Ascending an oil soaked empire ripe to smolder

I hear the sound of hotchkiss guns
Mowing down women and children
In hundered year December snow
You were already dying
Ravished by illness
How hard your journey, grandmother
How horrible your death, grandfather
You are not forgotten
You are not forgotten

Number 19 on a government memorial
My name, my blood
Dumped in a mass grave
Never atoned
And here we waste away

Number 19. Blood. Blood spilled
Blood suppressed. Blood chained
No more. I stand. I stand

Rise, rise, my blood is rising

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