butterfly man tells a story

near butterfly mountain
lived a medicine person
     from the mountain
     i come to know myself
he told me
     from the mountain
     my name was given to me
     butterfly man
     is how i am known
     some men
     laugh at my name
     but that doesn’t bother me
         my grandmother told me
         never laugh at others
         because the future is unknown
         queer people are sacred
        we must always remember
Translated by the author from the Navajo


Audio version performed by the author.

Read the Navajo-language version by the author, “hastiin k’aalógii ’ání.”


Source: Poetry (July/August 2022)
More Poems by Manny Loley