The Hostage

Nothing personal. It’s just business…

Small Hopes Shine Brightest

Theresa started the old ’87 Ford on a late February afternoon, after her shift at the bank had ended. An old beaten pickup, the ’87 saw most of the family’s troubles from start to finish, argument to makeup. Nowadays there wasn’t much to be celebrating. The small yet complete family had barely anything out of necessity to their name, and…

O-Eyes

I never got used to the helicopters Yesterday I watched them all afternoon from the roof, in lines— no clouds but helicopters, in lines droning north & south & birds singing echo songs to the neighbor building’s canyon I started to hate them when they followed us, & realized they were for us, when we began to march, in the…

Journey to the Canyon Floor

Deep down into the canyon where the spires live, breathing in the dust of histories, our feet move slowly through the long trail, blistered and tender they move on. Passing foot and handholds along the rock edge, we run our fingers along their crests, absorbing the ancient oils of our ancestors as we make our decent. Reddened walls interrupted only…

From Pandan Leaf to Birch Bark

I had been living in Bali, Indonesia, when I came to visit my relatives on the Leech Lake reservation. It was a regular trip I took with my parents each time I visited from abroad. My parents still lived on the East Coast at the time, so we would road trip out to Leech Lake and also to Turtle Mountain,…

On The Trail to the Swamp

She is alone. Alone, with cats and dogs and fish. The morning is dark. She flicks on a kitchen light switch. She descends to the basement TV room to feed the flitting neon swimmers. She sees that she forgot, the previous night, to turn off the tank light. Her hand taps two shakes of flaked fish food into the lit…

Texier’s Travels

The Parisian spends an afternoon in a magnolia grove glowing with ivory blooms. His hunting shirt is purple, embroidered with orange flowers and the morning star. He wants an Osage girl for a few piasters, a buffalo hunt, an Indian’s skull. In lemon-scented shade, he dreams the New World, a rattler at his feet. Ruby Hansen Murray (“They don’t know…

They don’t know where they will go when they die. Ho’-wa ge a-the ta i te ts’a-bi-don i-ba-hon a-zhi a-ba o.

The day the death boats came, Meena helped me serve the noon meal. She was the only other Osage at Edwards, and she’d been there for a week. When the steam whistle sounded, we went up the slope behind the mission to the Cherokee, to the small knob along the Arkansas River. Asmell like the privies in summer made Meena…

David and Sunockv

In the late afternoon of a windless yesterday, bees swarmed the Purple Robe Locust tree outside my apartment window. The breeze brought them back today and they swarmed the trees in the grove outside my apartment fence. Chile, the Blue Bull, barked. Annie, the Blue Police Dog, whined. Big Boy, the Chow Pit, howled. The bees ignored us and continued…

New Jams, New Jewelry

<em>New Jams, New Jewelry</em>