Another Confession

Poetry / Michael Wasson

The pupil dilates & buds
open wide for the sun falling over

the scorched earth: is all I need
a body so warm I’ll mistake the light

in the room for an old fire: we say
’alatam’áal when it’s winter

& we need to remember
our hands: slip a finger inside

my mouth: is humming like this
a prayer for your blood

vessels throbbing: or a self-
immolation: there’s a word I am

trying to tell you while the dead
skin melts into me: like ghosts

unable to confess their sins
I gather myself: & I whisper

in the ear: & I finally come
clean: to tell you what lies

beyond hunger: where we taste
& are blessed beyond this

sentence: what I don’t mean
is that you are delicious: I call

to you: ’ahímkasayqsa in that
you are in the motion now—

our blossoms torn—of being
so beautiful in the mouth.

Michael Wasson’s poems appear in American Poets, Poetry Northwest, Drunken Boat, Narrative, and Bettering American Poetry. He is nimíipuu from the Nez Perce Reservation and lives abroad.