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He comes for me. Body swollen with booze, fires

for eyes. Each time, I let him have me and let him

cry. It’s always his hands that touch me. Anther of limb

in bent light. We become the black wool of a night sky

in a backseat, in a back room, black as a ye’ii mask.

We kiss, we caesura, we ensure the darkening.

Boys before us have only come to make love to the mass graves in our teeth. To them, our flesh is still soot, still

corn stalks and juniper trees, left burning.


JAKE SKEETS (Diné) is from the Navajo Nation. He is pursuing an MFA at the Institute of American Indian Arts. His work has appeared in Word Riot, Connotation Press, The Blueshift Journal, and elsewhere. He was the recipient of the 2014 Native Writer Award. Recently, he founded an online queer Indigenous magazine that publishes queer Indigenous and queer poets of color, titled Cloudthroat.


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