Ko’ dóó łeeschch’iih [Fire and Ashes
The red off the far ridge, an eating dragon, slow
______coming down the valley
—my mom’s imagination over the phone,
______a quarter-mile of cars ahead.
No one has stopped, on their way north or south,
to capture Hotshots turning the beast to smolder.
Somewhere out in the burn, under dusk, a rattler
______den unfurls fast as brush fire
and clenches against the inferno draft
______that blocks entrance and escape.
For an instant, or minutes maybe, their unnatural
warmth is a comfort beneath the ablaze final day.
It’s the shape I’m in. I don’t tell her that I will
______leave, days from this moment,
the high, dry mountain we drive towards
______for the ashes of a different monster.
BOJAN LOUIS is a member of the Navajo Nation — Naakaii Dine’é; Ashiihí; Ta’neezahnii; Bilgáana. His poems have appeared in The Kenyon Review, Platte Valley Review, Hinchas de Poesía, and the American Indian Research and Culture Journal; his fiction in Alaska Quarterly Review. He is the author of the nonfiction chapbook,Troubleshooting Silence in Arizona (Guillotine Series, 2012). He has been a resident at The MacDowell Colony. He earns his ends and writing time by working as an electrician, construction worker, and English Instructor at universities and community colleges in the Phoenix metropolitan area.