Academic journal article TriQuarterly

Black Crow Dreams

Academic journal article TriQuarterly

Black Crow Dreams

Article excerpt

When the last red man shall have perished from the earth and his memory among the white man shall have become a myth, these shores shall swarm with the invisible dead of my tribe . . . At night when the streets of your cities and villages shall be silent, and you think them deserted, they will throng with the returning hosts that once filled and still love this beautiful land.

- Chief Seattle

I

Dear Chief Seattle: I was wondering if you ever ran into Kurt Cobain in your travels upon the spirit road. I mean, I've lived five hundred and eighty-eight moons, and, wait -

This just in from Rushville, Nebraska. Here, Skins haunt the sidewalks every howling Friday night. And even today, on Main Street the week after New Year's Eve, a flock of red-eyed pigeons is just being released from the city jail.

Down my street, by a white picket fence with sidewalks neatly cleaned of snow, four Indian girls are drinking something from a bottle and giggling. Oh, how I want some. Oh, how I crave them, but a black crow cackling is counting my years and smirking.

II

I've lived five hundred and eighty-eight moons.

Winter litters my yard with old bones and frozen dog turds. My cedars are frosted white like artificial Christmas trees. The fat, squawking crow in the lower branches knocks bough snow down on me. It is the sign of the Messiah. …

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