• Alyesha Wise

I woke in a world today and the air smelled like all the men had disappeared.

Opened the blinds


and the men were still here.


A breeze caught my skirt


but did not catch a violent eye.


I turned to my neighbor


and our memories began to cry.


We poured them into a cup and offered them


to the land


hoping that our grievances would not wake


a hungry man.


But as the garden bloomed upon swallowing


our grief


we looked down at the soil


for the soil


was washing our feet.


And the trees stretched their necks as our own backs


had risen.


They looked to us and said,


You are the us we have envisioned.


For if all the women feel safe, then we


feel safe, too.


No more chopping down at the neck and using us for the fruit.


No more carving into the bark and blaming us for the root.


If Native women are heard then the earth is heard, too.


We used to inhale air that was clogged in untruth.


But if all of you breathe life then we breathe life, too.





And as the sun began to set and make way


for the moon’s night


we looked down at a loving people alive


by their own light.


The children sung songs of seeing themselves


full.


They listened to tales of humans who thought


like fools


from listening


to hungry men, always dressed as wolves



in a world that thought wolves was a synonym for flee


in a world that rather google search the synonym for free


in a world that caged women as if women were not the key, we


had to believe in a new way to dream, we


had to


wake up, wake up, and see


every and all of each woman


for each breathes


us life.


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