Here is a poem by Native American poet Sherman Alexie:



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.



©2017, Sherman Alexie

Sherman Alexie


<a href=””>Passport</a&gt;

Published by ahiggins2013

poet, birder, senior citizen, cancer survivor, Catholic sister. Eight books of poetry published: At the Year’s Elbow, Mellen Poetry Press 2000; Scattered Showers in a Clear Sky, Plain View Press 2007; chapbooks: Pick It Up and Read, Finishing Line Press 2008, How the Hand Behaves, Finishing Line Press 2009, Digging for God, Wipf and Stock 2010, Vexed Questions, Aldrich Press 2013, Reconnaissance, Texture Press 2014, and Life List, Finishing Line Press, 2015.

One thought on “Autopsy

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