I never knew her
She died a few years after I was born
The last full blood
My great great grandmother
Named Grace but everyone called her Gracie
I have a picture of her as a child
Big brown legs crossed on a bear skin rug
Black hair with sharp bangs
In rotted sepia
Whenever I eat fry bread
I think of her
Or when I see autumn colored corn
Growing in long stalks
Watch documentaries on television
About the plight of the Cherokee
Each year there is a pow wow
And I am reminded
That I don’t know anything
About what it means to be Native American
The last one of my ancestors died
A very long time ago and never got the chance
To teach me how to speak Tsalagi
I have a pale face
It’s been washed out over the generations
I used to have a recurrent dream as a kid
That a man wearing a wolf head
Would have me come sit with him by the fire
And he'd tell me the future
I kept a dream catcher above my bed
He must have been a Shaman
Said head east to Tennessee
Maybe deep in our bones
The elders live on
I sure would like that to be the case
And my great great someone or other
Is responsible for more
Than my cheekbones and thick shins
That they gave more than
It’s the principle of the thing
To know why I need to be barefoot
To paint lines on my skin in clay
To run through the woods
To look up at the sky
With the moon on back
And bare my teeth
Keep close to the earth
To know why I cry
When I see them dance
Or why I pick up every feather
That I find in the dirt
And stick it behind my ear
So that I remember
What has been lost
We lasso ropes to clouds
of our dreams
and walk on a tightrope of stars.
Should we lose our foothold now
we would not fall.
For gravity doesn't pull
her ropes of fantasy in space.
Nobody would hear our screams
for vacuum is wordless,
mute and deaf.
We wouldn't even know
that we've lost our dream.
We would just silently
float away from each other
and deconstruct into obscurity.
You open your palms
and the milky deluge pours
through your fingers
from your released reservoir.
A sweet, ravaging cascade descends
on my skull, shattering it to bits
of nucleated thought-atoms.
The earth rains stars on the sky.
The sky sprouts green shoots of hope.
Pollen of life and contemplation.
Emerald green forests
speed through a lemon yellow sun.
I swallow sounds of wonder
Inhale the aroma of your questions
and spit out tectonics of half-baked answers
Where are we? Why are we?
Hold on firmly to my wrist, please
I feel the gravity of another beyond
tugging at spacesuits of our core