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we lay each other down in the burr and sage
bottles jangle us awake
cirrhosis moon for eye
memories cough our young fists up
trying to set ourselves on fire
dressing ourselves in black smoke
just as our cousins did one by one after the other
rising pure blue in June
let drunktown rake up
the letters in their names
lost to bone
let horses graze where remains are found
and you kiss me to shut me up
my skin bruise dark in the deep
come morning the leaves will replace themselves with meadowlarks
names shiver in the bottle jangle
still cockshut in larkspur
you will see your cousin and uncle lying next to you
every time I blink
we become ghosts bottle-dark and white-eyed
among the grasses
horses probably still there
Jake Skeets (Diné) is from the Navajo Nation. He is pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing from the Institute of American Indian Arts. His work has appeared in Connotation Press: An Online Artifact, The Blueshift Journal, Word Riot, and elsewhere. He is the founding editor of Cloudthroat, a journal dedicated to Native, First Nations, and Indigenous writing and art.
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