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I wrote this piece a few weeks before reading in New Mexico. It comes from a deep place of pain, for my people and loved ones. For all who have struggled with substances, and how non-natives are so quick to stereotype us and judge us, without knowing our story. Not many will ever fully understand or grasp the pain we carry, that we fall asleep with and wake up next to. The world needs more empathy, compassion, in relating to others who are "different", who grew up in different worlds. This piece also touches on how we never really lose anybody. Our ancestors, those who came before us, though they are not physically in this world, they are with us in more ways than we can understand here.

Fire water, fire breath.

The fires inside us recognize each other

as anger drips off our tongues

Melting, melting, just melt this pain away.

“Drunks” is just a six-letter word to throw over all of us

A blanket to keep us under, hidden, to the side and forgotten

Our blood is strong, it’s thick, the blood stains left

by our ancestors tattooed on our skin




Our skin is of the land

Lost land, we are not lost

Those we lost are not lost

They walk with us in every forward backward or side step

And when we find ourselves on our knees,

covered in lesions crying to the

moon to be with them..

to be taken away..from here..

The fire in us sees the fire in them

And the fire in them will light our pathway back home

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