Let me tell you, dearest beloved, in the only way I ever could—

This failure of tongue: the bloom of  hunger when morning becomes the skin—

You walk to a mirror & never see yourself—

Have you ached for the world? You stare back into me until I exist—

again as a face filled with the swollen quiet of a sky locked in another decade—

& I’ve opened every window you shattered here with the hush of a mother
who named you—

after nameless meadow, I hear tekín’me c’íxc’ix  clearing away the remains of
a summer’s harvest—

a life: the fruiting shadow of a bitterroot seared to earth by your god mouthing
líw líw—

-’ce: the history of our bodies is proven wrong in the flicker of an eyelid—

Holding steady, my fingerprints stain like cracks—

like the briefest coffins opening their lids, revealing only—

eyes that want nothing but the day-

light now rimming around each shut door in the house—

But here’s the poem again, my beloved: the poem will end, I promise, & life

go back to how it always was: before you—

ever looked in the mirror & forgot me breathing behind its melting tile of

Look. The kitchen table is ready for you—

Your son is in position—

to smile as wide as the tire swing he lifts his legs up from to gather & thrust
to the air—

She leaps into the amber of an afternoon gashed with breathing holes—

What, Lord, am I doing bearing the back of a mirror no one asked for?

Tell me anything, like—

hitxlic’áasa ’ee & these scraps of flame are landing on you, scattering over—

you, exploding—

Is this the sound of failure, the very beginning, or the faintest celebration
of  forever?

Say láatis. pipísnim c’íxc’ix. Say yoqóx like a distant spring in another
version of this nation. Listen—

Hear my fingerprints dissolve—

into the unspeakable names of animals stampeding until—

they vanish, until they are looking for you—

God, I promised this poem would end—

God, I’m only human enough to swallow what your season must offer—

You walk toward me, the entrance wound between us still fresh as a welcome—

but I am no longer there.

Source: Poetry (December 2019)

What Follows is a Reconstruction Based …