whale standing in the water,
bravery on freedom,
heart on fin,
a harpoon pen and
an eye for an eye better
to see you with.
Straight hair so long it could make
a settler’s shotgun look crooked,
burnt leather bible ashes braided down his back
hands hazeled by heartbeats he inherited,
carried close in an open canvas bag.
He has drawn his people,
their calm curves and their whipped tails,
carvings sailed into ink
and he looks fresh
all 2010 “real Indian”
gonna hustle the tourists for some prints.
I told him to bring his drum, too,
that they’d pay hot white money for a song.
Naahaan skims the blood soaked ocean,
chin up against the rising tide,
with flood gated eyes,
a sage smoked star shooting
as he tells me,
I don’t think
they can afford a song.