Euro — Anishinaabekwe — Noli Turbare
By Liz Howard
Beauty is my irreparable and today I became geometric.
A faux linear figure that distills a skip trace of First principles.
In a whiteout of Atlantic snow banging stars into the femoral
vein of Euclid while rows of lavender circuits, all porous,
surrounded me. I genuflected before the hospital parking
of my father’s jaundice, for I am a good daughter of the colony.
The colony which begot the immortal heart of the markets.
Resource nursed all young bucks of the florets, a liquidity
I should service or else receive a lesser dessert. With my smudge
cleanse at the ready I find myself dispensing with the usual
future haunt of stability; a survival signaling my relationship
to time, or I’m out of it, entirely. Chanting hell as hair veils
my face as if this is a Western. Come polygon and I circumvent
the disaster, do not disturb my circles. Holy I went, holy
all around my head, the holy I am went careening down
the back stairs of this low-rise rental. Striated by the pinnacle
light of this city that has my blood pooled purple at the center
of its gravity. You can scan the ground from overhead for death
pits. I read this on the internet when I was dehydrated, lonely,
and afraid. Office plants all broad-leafed repositories
for cognition’s patent heart. I’ve gone and been abominable.
A column extended from the top of my head into heaven.
At the edges of my system an Anishinabek or Indo-European
projection of words my nerves could translate into the crawl
space of animal magnetism. White pine verticals send us up
as a stomach pumped by filial love. Oh, inconsequent curb
of my street I refuse to kneel, this day like any other, a cousin
charged with trafficking. Still waiting to be ordained, I make
mask of our features that are retreating. Plush pockets of rust
about another falsehood of water, a creek that pleats. I’ve gone
and got a blister. That summer a black bear’s muzzle was coated
in shellac from the aerosol can she bit through on my mother’s
porch. A half-century after my grandmother’s mother said,
don’t ever shoot a black bear, they are my people. So I continue
to speak more than this mortuary sunrise where I am only just alive.
Boozhoo, today is over.