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poet

Layli Long Soldier

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Layli Long Soldier received a BFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts and an MFA from Bard College. She is the author of WHEREAS (Graywolf Press, 2017). Long Soldier has received a Lannan Literary Fellowship, a National Artist Fellowship from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, and a Whiting Writers’ Award. She teaches at Diné College and lives in Tsaile, Arizona.

by this poet

poem

I wake to
red sand I
sleep here
coral brick
hooghaan I
walk thin
rabbit brush
trails side-
step early
autumn
tarantulas 
pick desert
white flowers
on full days I
inhale fe-
male rain
I stop wheels
slow sheep
bounce drop

2
poem

WHEREAS when offered an apology I watch each movement the shoulders
                        high or folding, tilt of the head both eyes down or straight through
                        me, I listen for cracks in knuckles

poem

Ȟe is a mountain as hé is a horn that comes from a shift in the river, throat to mouth. Followed by sápa, a kind of black sleek in the rise of both. Remember. Ȟe Sápa is not a black hill, not Pahá Sápa, by any name you call it. When it lives in past tense, one would say it was not Red Horn either; was not a rider