Note from the Editors

 

   SEEING RED 

    ENDU(RED) ADMI(RED)
    DESI(RED) WONDE(RED)
    RUMO(RED) ADO(RED)
    ENAMO(RED) INSPI(RED)
    DISCOVE(RED) SAC(RED)
    HUNGE(RED) WONDE(RED)
    EXPLO(RED) FEATU(RED)
    AUTHO(RED) SEA(RED)
    DA(RED) UNCENSO(RED)
    SOA(RED) ADVENTU(RED)

 

 

    


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Raven


Here’s what they don’t tell you:
I flew out with dove
and at first we flew together but I soon outstripped her
She always was more circumspect in flight
whereas I was so glad to row against the currents of the wind
that I just kept going
sometimes flying low over the waters that were the gray
of what humans later would call steel
but then we didn’t know the destruction that would come and not just
once
You always hear about the dove and olive branch
but what they don’t tell is my part of the story, or all of it
They say I didn’t come back but that isn’t true
(beware the liars)
I came back to an empty ark
whose boards had fallen in like broken ribs
and I alit on top with branch of cedar in my mouth,
medicine tree that they would need
and it was green and fragrant
against the black of my beak
but they had dispersed by then
so there was no one there to hear me tell of
what I’d seen:
bodies floating bloated in the swells
or lodged and broken into limbs against jut of rocks or protruding trees
whole families and animals
and some will say my kind fed on them but I did not
and you can believe me or not since we all have to decide what is a lie
And the sun was an eye of knowing, almost cruel in its heat, finally drying
everything to bone, blanching femur and humerus to the most brilliant white
after flesh had slipped away and become food for the ravening fish and birds of prey
But all that time I prayed and finally the waters dried up and still I sang
a harsh song of renewal because someone had to do it
and what else could I do?
and as I sang, the insects gathered in contralto chorus
and worms writhed and were picked off
and by then I was exhausted so folded my wings over my head and over eyes that had
seen too much but I continued to hum and slept with one eye open
so I could see what was coming
because something always is


Kimberly L. Becker is author of Words Facing East (2011) and The Dividings (2014), from WordTech Editions. Individual poems appear widely in journals and anthologies such as Drunken Boat (Native American Women’s Poetry folio) and Indigenous Message on Water (Indigenous World Forum on Water and Peace, 2014).  Visit her at www.kimberlylbecker.com


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