āstam

come here.

apih (sit down).

it’s winter time now

we can tell stories

the spirits are resting

they won’t follow us home.

tell me yours.

rest your head on my lap.

i’ll braid your hair like

wihkask.

i’m trying to be open with you

but you don’t understand

how hard it is

when your mother

and grandmother

and great grandmother

have all been taught that

being vulnerable

has never ended well for us

but for you

i’ll try.

āstam (come here).

now tell me.

how did it hurt?

they don’t understand

how much we brawl and clash

and fight with nails and teeth

to only get told

that we didn’t fight hard enough

that we didn’t do enough

to someone doing enough to us

you don’t have to bite your way out.

anymore.

do you know how to start a fire?

do you know how to walk in the snow

without leaving footprints behind?

the stories carried in our bodies

tell us

that when we can no longer speak

they will speak for us

it wasn’t me who set your world on fire

it was my ancestors’ hands

that lit the match

and let it go.

āstam (come here)

rest your head on my lap.

close your eyes.

let’s watch them burn.

 

 

 

 

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