—for Simon Ortiz

Are there Indians living in Las Cruces?
You don’t see them much, not like
you do in Albuquerque.
Once at the Dairy Queen in Flagstaff,
a young Indian asked me to buy him
an ice cream cone.
He seemed like a nice kid.
His drunkenness seemed to give him
a confident swagger,
but he staggered,
and his eyes
weren’t seeing clearly,
you could see.
So there was no real way
to talk and find out what
it was like
in a place like Flagstaff for him—
so near to the Navajo and Hopi
but with all those white college kids
taking classes at Northern,
and the European tourists spending
nights in motels
on their way through
to the Grand Canyon.


Come back to Cacti Fur this Wednesday at 4:21 PM (Mountain Time) for another NEW Joseph Somoza poem!

Find Joseph Somoza online.


Photo by Katie Goetz.

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