How can we die when we're already
prone to leaving the table mid-meal
like Ancient Ones gone to breathe
elsewhere. Salt sits still, but pepper's gone
rolled off in a rush. We've practiced dying
for a long time: when we skip dance or town,
when we chew. We've rounded out
like dining room walls in a canyon, eaten
through by wind—Sorry we rushed off;
the food wasn't ours. Sorry the grease sits
white on our plates, and the jam that didn't set—
use it as syrup to cover every theory of us.

Tacey M. Atsitty, "Anasazi" from Rain Scald.  Copyright © 2018 by University of New Mexico Press.  Reprinted by permission of University of New Mexico Press.
More Poems by Tacey M. Atsitty