Bojan LOUIs | 2 poems


Black Days

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

killed anything.


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).