“My Uncle Teaches Me About Prayer” by CooXooEii Black

CooXooEii Black


the early blue-sky bird sings
and in my half-sleep i say
my uncle taught me “thank you”
is prayer in and of itself.
the first sip of morning coffee,
a long day’s work, a rise-before-the-sun hunt,
old country, and pepsi cans.
the russian olive tree
reveals yellow flowers
against red bark.
tribal workers leave early,
a slow evening.
hohou hohou!
in the distance a dog,
always a dog barking,
you come to hear one
even if there isn’t.
my uncle asks for help.
a tool, a truck,
some money, or laughter.
after hitting an animal
with his gold 1990s hyundai,
i give him gold duct tape.
the dragging part of his front bumper
taped up by a star.
hohou hohou!
us arapahos always use symmetry in our art, he says.
the sun sneaks behind the mountain
as someone tells a joke.
everyone erupts into laughter.
there’s water ambiance just beyond the road.
kids swim in a ditch
and it flows green and alive.
no, wait.
it’s a river.
hohou hohou!
my cousin is tired of the rust
eating his bike.
i offer him the gold duct tape to cover his frame.
hohou hohou!
he says, partly to me,
partly to God because he provided again.
it won’t stay golden forever i tell him
but right now it looks bright
in the moon’s budding grey.

from The Morning You Saw a Train of Stars Streaking Across the Sky


CooXooEii Black: “I’ve always been interested in emotionally compelling stories, whether it was music, movies, or tv. I constantly got into trouble in elementary school for telling stories, singing songs, and acting. Then in high school, I watched a spoken word video, and for the first time, I found a medium that incorporated everything I love to do. So I put a few images down on a page, and I haven’t stopped since. Because it was God who gave me the ability to write, I daily return it to Him as a form of worship.” (web)

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