Autopsy

passportU_S

 

Here is a poem by Native American poet Sherman Alexie:

Autopsy

 

Last night, I dreamed that my passport bled.

I dreamed that my passport was a tombstone

For our United States, recently dead.

I dreamed that my passport was made of bone—

 

That it was a canoe carved out of stone.

“But I can’t swim,” I said. “I will drown

If I can’t make the shore. I’ll die alone

In the salt. No, my body will be found

 

 

With millions of bodies, all of them brown.”

I dreamed that my passport was a book of prayers,

Unanswered by the gods, but written down

By fact checkers in suits. “There are some errors

 

In your papers,” they said. Then took me downstairs

To a room with fingernails on the floor.

I dreamed that my passport was my keyware,

But soldiers had set fire to the doors,

 

 

To all doors—a conflagration of doors.

I dreamed that my passport was my priest:

“Sherman, will you battle the carnivores

Or will you turn and abandon the weak?

 

Will you be shelter? Or will you concede?”

Last night, I dreamed that my passport was alive

When it entered the ICU. It breathed, it breathed,

Then it sighed and closed its eyes. It did not survive.

Illustration-for-american-indian-story-The-White-Canoe-770x515

 

©2017, Sherman Alexie

Sherman Alexie

 

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