I Say After–Rain, You Say hahalpáawisa

by Michael Wasson

I call out to you like a / You whose flesh is cleared out / from our ghosted

shadows to the tightened lips of / the horizon. There you are / at the cathedral

in my mouth. A garden: tamsáasnim láatis. cilílx. tíms bloomed / in

dirt & scattered. The doorway. Are you honest enough to say / You’ve always

loved? To not forget breaking / down every door to beat Your image / into

your son’s memory? You know / a boy’s name but do you know mine? Say

ixtab with a cord slung / around your neck. Say cannibal. / ’ilcwéw’cix. Or

tilípe’ who leaps over / your deaths. Another dead / father is being brought

back to his son’s thinned arms. / An ache that touches / the very wet end

of my tongue. Ignite me with this / blessing Father. Give me this seventh

day to wash / You & your taste from my mouth. / Recall the ruined

entrance. The rust damaging / the architecture. Father forgive me for / ever

asking. For a mother stands in your light / gone out. Crying out to break

every mirror in the house. To burn / the field & stand alone until the blood

of a forefather / rivers clean. Finally / motionless like the years you’ve lived

You say: the eighth day / I offer this eternal blessing. Smelling of the dead

scorched grass: it starts to rain again.