Lend me your ear so that I may
Peach me, you fuck.
Pin-pricks even have codes.
What is the word for that squeak before a moan?
Somewhere out in the cosmos
we are all lit up.
We don’t float,
It’s such a beautiful day, over there.
Eye on the pin-prick.
Like, the pin stays in there, instead.
We find that it has skin growing over it.
One hundred years the grandparents stayed together.
One hundred years on an avocado sofa.
Transfixed on making meaning.
He says, Woman, I.
He always says.
The night moon has a belt around it, or a noose.
Banana leaves spread about the floor,
slick and fragrant.
She loved him more with his back turned.
She said she could hear him calling better.
How can we be there, when we are here?
Suspended in the air, while disconnected and lying on the floor?
What is the best way to recall what has been lost?
He said, Woman, I.
She finally said,
I in-in you.
The Flooding in El Llano
coming in to look I am in and out
this valley is in the flood plain
the moon sheds its water in the desert cyclic
he was a carpenter she a seamstress
looking into their house
a wooden chair against a carved chest
against a wooden chair
his gift to her
La Virgin de Guadalupe carved
into the pine-wood
then flash flood in el llano
they bobbed and knocked in the center of the street
as everything moved darkly away
el llano is close as a ghost story
the mothers lift themselves
their gowns are sheets legs slide over
head of grasses they search for the desert plains
hands push through darkness
strum lace curtains until they hit the heavy wooden door
then they are outside
little brown feet shuffle
through silver and needle
the yucca plant is a cloud of moths
lured from subterranean cocoons
their milky bodies vibrate inside waxy blooms
the mothers follow the road that has never been paved
into the dark plains & gathering
when the mothers leave
the fathers are asleep
the children in dreams
holding hand to hand to hand
running with the wind across their hair a streak
lip and eye they forget their bodies
a bed in the corner to catch a sliver of moon
the women shuffle into el llano
el tecolote flies hidden by clouds tracking
before the valley knows it is morning
the bread bakers are kindling their hornos
like the call to prayer but silent
el tecolote looks into windows
the children return
the women return
the men turn on their sides and open their slack mouths
the insects wake first the bakers never went to sleep
el tecolote is the dream with wings
swimming between trees
they will forget the dream
the mothers will not remember the un-paved road
with too much work to do
they tell stories of el tecolote
but will forget how they learned the stories
they will never know what the water knows
as it swallows the reflections of all things
[All quoted material is from articles and reports about missing and murdered Indigenous women]
“There is no comprehensive data collection system regarding the number of missing and murdered Native American women and girls in the United States. Some reservations, however, report that women are murdered at more than ten times the national average, and a congressional study found that between 1979 and 1992 homicide was the third leading cause of death among Native American women ages 15-to-34, as reported earlier at Rewire and the Indian Country Media Network.”
“[Our] her body was found hanging in the bush
close to her [our] home, her [Our] neck
tied to the trunk of a tree with a piece of fabric.”
“Why would she leave her kids? Why would she do this?”
“Disappeared without a trace while on a hunting trip
with her common-law partner”
It is you.
Halo surrounding you in the photo
for the missing person’s report.
Walk long and around rough and rocky terrain.
The canoe had to be taken to get
There were just remains–
a circle of hair and bone in the ground.
Gladys, it is you
we look look for
It is you we look look
It is you we do not find
“Abusive long-term relationship”
“‘I asked for a location [as to] where Cheyenne fell. I wanted to do a proper ceremony there,’ said her father.”
“They said, ‘If you go there, you’re going to be charged with trespassing, and we’re not going to tell you where it is.’”
Bruises on the arm, blood on the body
“I fought and fought. I was asking how the investigation is doing,” she said. “I called every day and they would say, ‘What missing person?’”
“I was fighting every step of the way. I didn’t have anyone helping me,” she said.
“The police, they didn’t care. They did not care,” she said. “It was like, ‘So what? It’s another Indian.'”
It’s a long ways for her to have walked in the dark.
her grief is the killing
of another sister
Adriane Cecile Wadhams six years old
Delaine Copenace sixteen years old
Carol Lynn Prudhomme
Debbie Faye Pelletier
Cheyenne Marie Fox
Verna Shabaquay, who mostly went by the last name Simard
Rhonda Running Bird
Ada Elaine Brown
Mary Jane Hill
Sharon Nora Jane Abraham
Marilyn Rose Daniels
Deborah Anne Sloss
Marjorie Lena Henderson
Sharon Frances Merasty
Erika Mae Edwards
Kiomora Dream “Kiki” Hogan
Victoria Crow Shoe
Is it the snow that carries you?
The snow that covers your shoe prints?
Is it the snow called in to blizzard your heavy heat away?
The man who stabs, and pushes, and strangles, and does it again?
Cold white it is all and it is everything.
It is the seat at the altar of our lives that burns.
Your life gone.
[We] They are busy living and forgetting living and forgetting.
In a strong storm [we] they erase you, put you up against that cold burning altar, but I will not stand for it,
I will not stand
and place your name into the white—the offering is not you.
Marisol Baca’s book, Tremor, is forthcoming from Three Mile Harbor Press. Marisol’s work has appeared in Narrative Northeast, Shadowed, The Acentos Review, IXHUA, Flies Cockroaches and Poets, 42 Opus, and the anthology Pakatelas. She was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Currently, she lives in Fresno, CA where she works as an English Professor.