Then you touch me and I don’t know what to do with my arms. I held my chest too tightly to your incantations and they have begun to disintegrate into syllables. It must be this room. At home, the screaming down the street is becoming constant. Here, the screaming is trapped in my throat. We erupt as grains, boiling over, searching for an easy way out of our own skins. I crack and flood inward and you and manoominitigweyaa are my only witness. What do you want? I want to be freed from defense, ingestible.

There is always someone expecting us to talk about death. I want you to tell me,
“if you can’t think or talk about death anymore:
for years. or just for tonight, I understand”. I cannot talk about death while your fingers taste like wild rice and your breath turns to sunlight in my belly. I cannot be disappearing if I insist upon a celebration in the midst of upheaval. I cannot be extinct if I refuse to let the lake settle. What do you want? I want to spend hours with your heat, talking about absolutely nothing of consequence. I want a moment to mourn the nutrients spilled, to accept this trauma as our kin, and then I want to move on. I want to live in a world where being a native woman is not synonymous with heartache and things past, but with happiness & things to come. I want to lay down and press my cheek against your soil until I can’t remember belonging to any country before or after your name. What do you want?