Years Later, na’plax̣, in the Yard, Asks Me to Rename Him

by Michael Wasson

At the foot of

this mountain you

are the boy alone

again: there is

a word rusted

to the back of

your throat: a deer

shed what was

burning: velvet-

tipped building

of its own bones

gnarled from

its soft head: you

find it warmed

near a trunk with

long neck-wound

shapes scratched

into wet pine bark

like how our names

looked before

being so tongued

by America: &

that gleaming

double-helix of

your dried uvula

blackens to

ash: your grandson

will greet you

tonight: you’ll weep—

praying: word

for word in

a sound like

a beggar plucked

of his teeth.