wash your hair

there’s a lot of names in tuba city
keith says, listing a few:
black widow
navajo jesus
20dollar woman
hot mama grandmother of sparse english chimes in
and trish and i and grandmother
laugh so hard
our eyes shine
orange flameglow on
grandmother’s face while she
slides the top of the living room stove
over and drops
a hunk of coal in
lightning keith says the people
who do the lightning ceremony
don’t eat chicken
just like you
trish’s wild rice pilaf and
grandmother’s frybread for lunch
and grandmother’s frybread
for second lunch
warm and puffysoft in our hands
heard through the window
from inside to out
radiosound: have a holly jolly christmas
it’s the best time of the year
pasted into the expanse of
all that desert wind and silence
two tutorials
in water siphoning
from the 55gallon blue barrels
into 5gallon buckets
first under the dusty dawn sky
with grandmother
second with grandfather
and a 2″ diameter hose
from barrel in truckbed to barrel alongside the house
each time a matter of trial
trish and i laughing at each
wash your hair demand/request
first from keith
then from grandmother
pointing at me
across the table
we grab handfulls of wool
while seated along woodstove
plucking burrs, thorns and other deserty dried vegetation
from scraggly strands
shaking sand into the garbage
first stop-by in the days i’ve been here:
white pick-up, dogs barking and the red-hatted
man anouncing himself from
the hopi land comission
and the word relocation is
discernable (because there is no word
for this in diné)
chomping a bite off
juniper tree just like
the sheep do
for a texture (surprisingly tender)
and taste (expectedly strong) experience
to see what it might be like
for the sheep


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