Bojan LOUIs | 2 poems
for Adrian C. Louis
There are fifteen scorpions pressed apart with a stick used
for stirring paint I need to tell you about.
Couldn’t tell you how they dwelled. Haven’t killed enough.
They emerged through cracks in the block
wall separating each box of this Cro-Magnon neighborhood.
I can tell you: I wept. Smashing sections
as they escaped, moving like those fuckers from Alien flicks.
Anyway, it’s been countless years since I
searched the yard perimeter, black light a false beacon in the
muted night. A nine-mil nestled against
my hip, bullet chambered to blast the skinheads my sister told
of, frantic, having driven the city all night.
Among deadened asphalt synapses we wait for dawn’s liminal
thread to offer blurred visions for sleep.
She described a battle between cops and neo-Nazis. I perceived
it as singular and internal until somewhere
in the conflict the house was entered, ruined, and left as such.
This ruin never occurred. It was a wreck,
a was I’m embarrassed to speak on. A false bend, a quarter too
far. I want to be clear about the scorpions.
My wife crept behind me with her phone while I, among the
apparitions of depression, released the safety
and cleared the house of the nothing there. Hateful I hadn’t
The Age of Accountability
He wants this body the femur-bleached paperwork, Lego-lettered requisite
for proof of entrance to get one’s soul assured a claim in celestial perpetuity.
How goes it, Savior? Broken-hearted divinity hunkered down like a refugee
conspiring against definition of existence over violence. Your skin glistens
like an argument against dullness of love and light. Lampshades come to mind.
How they’re made to diffuse illumination. Cast the contrast of shattered vessels.
An 8 pushed over resembles ∞. Lay enough down you get a rhumba of snakes
knotted like vines. Plunge an 8 year old into water bowled in gold on the backs
of bronze bulls, it’s a sacred act. Trans-migratory journey to adulthood. To be a man,
perhaps, requires the faith of support and guidance into water where the weight of
he who is responsible for your buoyancy is the one drowning you, too. Can be
understood as somewhat of a clusterfuck. Ordained angel, submerge your dove.
Mom suspects Lord’s blessing true: eternal celestial-kingdom-life or cast out to darkness.
My pops, I can guess, feels similar, though his is not the most genuine, devout of belief.
O Father O Faith O Sun aid us our oars to move with luck and coins enough. Drizzle
water to the crown of our heads for protection. Seal the deal: soul and body to decay.
What floods lungs is said to be (O) Satan taking downward hold of you. No echo.
Pitch, the pressure of the world’s health and sustenance, a killer. How it is.
There’s a world between us and words by the millions. Deep within the ocean existence doubts
the probability/possibility of our limbs and lungs. Our soft, delicate bodies as swallowable as
plankton. Whatever philosophies microscope our lives, we envision stars where there are none.
BOJAN LOUIS (Diné) is a poet, fiction writer, essayist, and Poetry Editor for RED INK: An International Journal of Indigenous Literature, Arts, & Humanities. He teaches various composition courses at Arizona State University’s Downtown Campus. His first poetry collection is Currents (BkMk Press 2017).