the world that came after

the historians of unsovereignty record the day when the kingdom fell for the last time. the first thunderstorm in spring, the old new year, is marked by their rejoicing. in the world that came after the word indian became outlawed and mandatory and outlawed again; the michifs learned to untie their tongue into three strands once more. 

if you ask those old women they’ll tell you that the word 2spirit became a ghost town and other names came in like young teeth. we were chewed up by them and reborn into a land of pipelines and traplines and phone lines and ley lines and none of us knew how to read. but we were learning.

and in those years the tribal colleges refined the natural philosophy of breathing, the ways to inhale oil and exhale water. the prairies were full of dancing halfbreeds and fiddling crees, until the borders collapsed and the gas stations all closed up shop. it was revelation, reveillon. revved up motorcycles traveled in packs down the transcanada highway with the news while the media sat inside and nursed its wounds. 

utopias flourished, became dystopias, and then started the cycle all over again. ways of being guests were invented out of old papers and spring rain. and you and i weren’t there but our names were written down in a book with saskatoon berry ink, the new blood quantum that wasn’t. 

the historians of indigenous futurisms know that day will come.

exit right

write an(other) existence in some
                        liquid not like blood
to write an(other) song that does
            not make itself flag
want to write an(other) self of god
                        into human flesh

human as though that was an(other) kind of
being, foolish child thoughts
you are nonbeing only

un-be skin and become stars
freckled on you by sunpower

stars are only suns at a distance
distance only a function of position
universe too infinite for a globe

sing the world a body unlike its own
            body the world in your gut
                           limn/limb in twilight

queer metastasis like earthquakes
in flat prairie dirt
tiny tremors and memory of devastation

try effigy mounds instead
            snake river elk mound lynx hill
exit right into darkness
            transsexual womb of earth


Kai Minosh Pyle (Mekadebinesikwe) is a Two-Spirit writer, Indigenous language learner and advocate, and researcher. Born and raised in Green Bay, Wisconsin, they have ancestral ties to the Red River Métis, Sault Ste. Marie Ojibwe, and the northeast Wisconsin Polish-American community. Currently they are a doctoral student in American Studies at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities on the occupied Dakota homelands of Bde Ota Othunwe (Minneapolis, Minnesota). More: