For the players, and the shovels.
Leaving the powwow grounds, we evaporate like smoke, we
hug the fading light, we shapeshift our way, un-real
in the dim din of summer’s cool
night air, the sweet sizzle of dusk. We
stand before each other as if we are all we have left;
no papers, no homework, no busy-ness of school.
This is the anticipation, the excitement we
long for; drums fading, the haunt of honor song lurk-
ing in our skin as it grows late.
The beat beat beat, hearts in the tall grass. We
climb the hills, each other. We smell of match strike
and fry bread, dance strong and straight
for each other, feeling the high of long ancestry. We
like the feel of feathers and warpaint. We leave sing-
ing this high. The form-fit of moccasin
and comfortable heave of beadwork and bone is not we-
ary. In the morning, we will test our thin
voices after the bad beers, the whiskey or gin,
49-ing all night long. These are the memories we
search for, dropped in the grass, our own jazz
in the hot sweet sticky powwow buzz of June,
the nostalgia of a hand-drum romance leaves us we-
eping. We sing another song, we die
a little bit inside, hoping for that flutter one more time, soon.