How to Make a Map for Ethnic Cleansing

 

. . . . . . . . . .an elegy

 

Demark colored lines fluid as the Red sea

and place names for distance.. . . . . . . . . .Cherokee––

We are a region

where herds wait, swallowing grass like fire. . . . . . . . . .Seminole––

and drink the stream till sandy loam cracks

and a Burren juts out like a dying stomach.. . . . . . . . . .Chickasaw––

Patches of daisies in crevices of erosion,

a smooth blue hue to calm desolation.. . . . . . . . . .Crow––

No food, no safety, no, nothing, let the mouth circle o

and we marched west when pushed.. . . . . . . . . .Muscogee––

Skin’s lines as air since birth, then we became

something else, named waves against the shore.. . . . . . . . . .Choctaw––

Divisions strict as rocks building fences, building Babel,

and a Burren juts out as a dying stomach. . . . . . . . . .Blackfoot––

that rumbles for what was, the moon-root

sucking in air and sporadic rain,. . . . . . . . . .Ojibwa––

a constant hunger. Our tears become the sea

and we are thought to be obsolete,. . . . . . . . . .we will not be barren land.

 
 

Part of The Learned Pig’s Wolf Crossing editorial season, spring/summer 2017.

Image credit: Squid Ink, via Flickr

 

The Learned Pig

 

Amanda North

Amanda North is a writer and educator based in Texas. She holds a BA from University of Texas at El Paso and an MFA-Poetry from Texas State University. She lectures in the English Department and Honors College at Texas State University. Amanda has poems published or forthcoming in The Open Bar at Tin House, The Learned Pig, and Yew Journal.