Oh, fine, here’s some art. (Posted originally to twipic)
House of five fires, you never raised me.Those nights when the throat of the furnacewheezed and rattled its regular death,I wanted your wide door,your mottled air of bark and working sunlight,wanted your smokehole with its stars,and your roof curving its singing mouth above me.Here are the tiers once filled with sleepers,and their low laughter measured harmony or strife.Here I could wake amazed at winter,my breath in the draft a chain of violets.The house I left as a child now seemsa shell of sobs. Each year I dream it sinisterand dig in my heels to keep out the intruderbanging at the back door. My eyes burnfrom cat urine under the basement stairsand the hall reveals a nameless hunger,as if without a history, I should always walkthe cluttered streets of this hapless continent.Thinking it best I be wanderer,I rode whatever river, ignoring every zigzag,every spin. I’ve been a fragment, less than my name,shaking in a solitary landscape,like the last burnt leaf on an oak.What autumn wind told me you’d be waiting?House of five fires, they take you for a tomb,but I know you better. When desolation comes,I’ll hide your ridgepole in my spineand melt into crow call, reminding my childrenthat spiders near your doorjoined all the reddening blades of grasswithout oil, hasp, or uranium.
Featured in New Voices From the Longhouse, 1989
One of my favorite poems from one of my tribesmembers (Oneida). She is incredible. I hope to be writing like this someday.
Why thank you! You are mysterious and coy. <3
about the megafauna
Things grow inchoate when I close my eyes. So open them:red dumpster and the redbud tree, how the pitcher-plant
drowns its prey, terra cotta earth, my soft nun-body—coarse sheets, cheap underthings.
Inside the vanishing, women bump each other on the street. Their bags-full-of-world make a tissue paper rustling.
I’ve been thinking about the megafauna.Take the tundra horse. Take the secretary bird.
Leaves become trash and the invasive grasses are facilitated by our hems. Thaw-water in clogged gutters, a fault line where I salt the steps.
The tundra horse, once real, is no longer among us.Night says galaxy dryrot distillation.
Night wobbles like a tilda.
Histology says I’m bruised but good.
From “Lake of Hours.” Kerri has a collection called We Do Not Eat Our Hearts Alone.