Red Stick Noonshine

I’ve never stompdanced in Oklahoma, but full centuries of old Creek
newsreels have motion-stopped in me, twirling cycloned fenders into
loosened braids to the pitch-black refrains of settler philosophers at 3 am,
twisting counterclockwise each rusted bolt about your body next to me.

Oakbarks growl excavations from centuries of blood-mound memory,
catfish snapping Aztec blues through screen doors drenched in cornfield
sweat as green as Chuska cedar. Thighbone shells tied rawhide tight to
strands of hair, the hands of your air morning fog across my back.

My ribbon shirt sears like moss, and river mud stabs through missing
history as rotted as a slough-side lynching. Moonlight chokes in gashed
ravines of liquid crow where Fowltown elites once grappled stickball fields
weeping wild onion dreams. Broken arrowheads hide themselves.

I have resemblanced tattoos echoing cheek to chin, mirrors of denial and
acceptance—a dead quail posed solemnly sharing starry quilts with a
rabbling rabbit. Earth as dark and moist as sin releases my uncovering, my
un-mounding, my kidnapped wife, my arrowed erroring. Futurity.

Whiteshell moons escape your teeth in coondog winterness, emergence
story of barbed winter ice, splayed blackjacks cloaking footprints. Limbs
shout blood hymns to a slow spring glistening of chain gangs; sandstone
shadows climb scuppernong dawns. Exhausted, preachers flee.

The skull of Cowe Harjo cradles my gaunt irises. Eyelids rise on Crazy
Snake. Like a drowsing drum, Okmulgee loam prays dreams beneath my
feet. A map of sorts. That’s what she said. Like a deer’s heart gushing red,
Mvskoke songs drench my hands. You and I are tangled now. Fvtcv.
More Poems by Michael Thompson