Woken in the half-light before dawn by ravens gathering in the neighboring trees, their insistent…
You and I, we meet in words.
It is the language that bridges us.
You say pleased, I say pleasure.
Our hands shake.
You say velvet. I breathe deeply.
I say cobalt. Your eyes widen.
Whiskey; thumbtack; Lakota. You tap your foot.
Tunkasila; bootstrap; harness. I clear my throat.
I say nimbus; cornflower. Your right hand scratches your collarbone.
You say blue spruce; stretching. My arms unfold themselves.
I say linen; leather; suede. You reach for my hand.
You say conjure; mist; fathom. I raise my chin.
I say darkened plum. Your blood pulses in your jaw.
You say candy apple red. I lick my lips.
Rosebud; Wounded Knee; prayer book. I lower my eyes.
Sweetgrass; silver; violin. You lean into me.
Butterscotch; anisette; almond oil. I pivot my hip.
Flame; lightning; braided. You taste the corner of my mouth.
I close my eyes.
You slide against me.
We both exhale.
We both ache.
We both forget.
© 2004 Dora E. McQuaid
After Sundance on Rosebud Indian Reservation, South Dakota
All peace to each one of you today. Dora