Patriarchy

Father’s dying ceased,

when he refunded this ours

for fused hands plaster-coated

ffffffffffin a glottal stop’s brief paralysis.

 

Pinpricked holes for eyes,

reversible teeth hemmed in copper thread,

polished browbone swiveling

through trimmed hedges—

nnnnnnhe atrophies this aftermath,

nnnnnnnnnnnnits highest frond withering on maps

nnnnnnnnnnnnthat dreamed our shadows waterlogged.

 

He then moans a constellation of anchors

flung at blue birds pausing mid-flight

where pewter wind

nnnnnnnnnnnncreaks shut over the raft’s hesitation.

 

He explains the sun—

not carried by horse,

but a ceiling lamp

flickering on our computer screens.

 

***

 

Sherwin Bitsui is the author of Flood Song (Copper Canyon Press) and Shapeshift (University of Arizona Press). He Diné is of the Bįį’bítóó’nii’ Tódi’chii’nii clan and is born for the Tlizilłani’ clan. He is from White Cone, Arizona on the Navajo Reservation. His honors include the 2011 Lannan Literary Fellowship, a Native Arts & Culture Foundation Fellowship for Literature, a PEN Open Book Award, an American Book Award and a Whiting Writers Award. Bitsui lives in San Diego, California and teaches at the MFA writing programs of both San Diego State University and IAIA MFA in Creative Writing in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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