Barberry bushes have been trampled all day
and some boys along the creek
pretending it is the barbed wire of an Indian prison
lay prone clutching nickel-plated revolvers
imaginary of course. Unlike our Reservations
about choosing the wrong side of this battlefield.
Cowboys gallop red across the stripped horses
of their pink legs embarrassing Indians
into a shirtless whoop of bows and
arrows falling dead BANG BANG
barbs fired from prepubescent lips.
Swimming in the music of a clear October
morning eagles handcuff the sun
bald as our understanding
of war never ending ever was.
—from Rattle #60, Summer 2018
Tribute to Athlete Poets
Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley: “I am an elite level powerlifter (meaning top 1% of all competitors in the United States). Powerlifting consists of the bench press, squat, and deadlift. I love this sport because it’s you against yourself. Your opponent is an inanimate piece of metal, just as the poet’s opponent is perhaps—forgive the cliché—either the blank page or themselves, and certainly not other poets: both forge a strong community of fellowship around their craft.” (web)