Jake Skeets, Poetry

Jake Skeets. Photo: Quanah Yazzie.

Jake Skeets is Black Streak Wood, born for Water’s Edge. He is Diné from Vanderwagen, New Mexico. He is the author of Eyes Bottle Dark with a Mouthful of Flowers (Milkweed Editions, 2019), a National Poetry Series–winning collection of poems. He holds an M.F.A. in poetry from the Institute of American Indian Arts. Skeets is a winner of the 2018 Discovery/Boston Review Poetry Contest and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Skeets edits an online publication called Cloudthroat and organizes a poetry salon and reading series called Pollentongue, based in the Southwest. He is a member of Saad Bee Hózhǫ́: A Diné Writers’ Collective and currently teaches at Diné College in Tsaile, Arizona.

*

“Virginity”

Clouds in his throat,
six months’ worth.

He bodies into me
half cosmos, half coyote.

We become night
on Bread Springs

road. Shirts off,
jeans halfway

down, parked
by an abandoned

trailer. “No one
lives here,”

he whispers.
We become porch

light curtained
by moth wings,

powdered into ash.

*

“Glory”

Native American male. Early twenties. About 6’2″, 190 pounds.
Has the evening for a face.

Possible public intoxication. Native American female. No ID. She reported
being raped.
White shirt. No pants. Her legs swallowed the hotel.

Shots fired. Shots fired. Group of males scattered. Native American possibly.
One has a skull tattoo. Some ran east on Boardman. The skull is still here.

Medic unit requested. Sagebrush Bar.
Unidentified male not responsive. Possible hit-and-run.
Witnesses described it as a man being spit out from the mouth of a 4×4.

Yellow car heading north on Highway 666. Possible DWI. The car is kissing
the median like a wasp against a window.
Its wings torn to pieces.

I just saw a young boy get hit by a train. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t
know. He ran onto the tracks and the train hit him. It hit him.
He’s still moving. ……..He’s young. Maybe twenty. We’re on the Westside
by Walmart. Should I help him? He’s moving, he’s moving.
The train hit him. There’s blood all over him.
The train ate through him like a river eats through the arroyo. The train,
.it sounds like a river.

……………………………….Like a river, a river goddamnit,
………………………………………….a river, a river,
………………………………………….ariverariverariverariverariverariverariver

a river

This is Officer Carson. Medic requested. Man down. Native male. Late twenties, early thirties. Stab wounds to the stomach. Pulse faint. Blood on the snow. He is being erased from the

Read more: theparisreview.org

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