Gram made a humongous cake which laid out in a thousand rains. Thick ribbons of water,
icing flowing down ruinous fringes of receding prairie. The slice, thirteen-foot tall,
six-foot wide. Sweet sediment rosettes of frosting––binding delicate layers in charcoal
wash. Moist on top, a little dry within the center, where a thousand faces lie between
layers. They can’t be seen, but they can be heard. The sounds of boiling meat, popping rocks;
brittle skins embracing heat––in fire. Ripping hides, reveal fat scraped fat away.
Laugh sounds. I grab a chunk from where a deer lay, I chew for what seems like decades.
In my mouth, a tiny shell tumbles around my teeth ‘til I spit it into my hand. I hope I can
remember the recipe.
Jesse Short Bull is a student at the Institute of American Indian Arts.