Today's poem is by Sherwin Bitsui, who was born in 1975 and is ..

"from the Navajo Reservation in White Cone, Arizona. He received an AFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts Creative Writing Program and is the author of the poetry collections Shapeshift (2003) and Flood Song (2009). Steeped in Native American culture, mythology, and history, Bitsui’s poems reveal the tensions in the intersection of Native American and contemporary urban culture. His poems are imagistic, surreal, and rich with details of the landscape of the Southwest. Flood Song is a book-length lyric sequence that explores the traditions of Native American writing through postmodern fragment and stream of consciousness."

And here's one of his poems for today, via Poetry Foundation

River
by Sherwin Bitsui

When we river,
blood fills cracks in bullet shells,
oars become fingers scratching windows into dawn,
and faces are stirred from mounds of mica.

I notice the back isn’t as smooth anymore,
      the river crests at the moment of blinking;
its blood vessels stiffen and spear the drenched coat of flies
collecting outside the jaw.

Night slows here,
      the first breath held back,
clenched like a tight fist in the arroyo under shattered glass.
But we still want to shake the oxygen loose from flypaper,
hack its veins,
divert its course,
      and reveal its broken back,

the illusion of a broken back.  

... from Shapeshift. Copyright © 2003 by Sherwin Bitsui (University of Arizona Press). 

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