Lover-Cousin

My cousin
your skin
shone back
iridescent.
Tiny scales
glinted
under
the sun’s
glaring continuum.

I knew
I had
found you,
finally.

My house,
my body,
cleared of the
poison
shed it’s tired hide.
And underneath
were tender
scales,
rainbow colors,
only I could see.
Only I had scales
I thought
until I saw you

After you
sloughed off
the needle
tracks
your new skin
came in
luminous
and your
reborn color
confused you.

Until you
found me
my lover-cousin.

We sun
ourselves
under
loud whispers
and bold stares.
Now that
broad daylight
will not parch
or burn,
we flaunt taboo.
Kinship laws,
our people’s
history,
failed us
in the making
of our old skin.

So,
I will not
give you up,
my soul-cousin.

Water
exhales
from our pores
at moon’s
deliverance.
I smell
the river bottom
in the mixing
of our fluids.
You come
with me
under
to the calm,
dark mystery,
the place-time
before the
burden of
language.
We are liquid.
We are mud
We revisit
until one of us
bursts the surface
for air.
And we entwine
ourselves,
and sleep.

I could not
go there
until I
found you.

We are water
from the same
source,
we,
children of
Missepishu,
children of
that lesser
power-being.
We are necessary
outcasts for our
people’s glaring
continuum.
We have to
live out
this
blessed curse.

I will not
give you up
my cousin,
my niciwakan.


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