safe mode
by t. zoEy benally

running in safe mode
a bare minimum of drivers
loaded, non-essential devices
illegal operations search
pinpoint program interference
operation errors


sweet night
by t. zoEy benally

packed for a month, fibers crunched
together, sardined, entubed together
she only burned through it tonight
tonight she could concentrate on dessert

dreamsicle, sticky paper pulled away
tangerine syrup stretched, so used to holding on
she licked sunsets, orange sherbet splashed
across, metal girders, her hands, legs, concrete

he made her lips coral submerged in ocean
made her walk slow and lazy
creamy grin poured, dandelion puff
explosion, fairy glitter bug commotion

she loved him, would always love him
first lick, water based sunshine
inhale fresh herb, seconds suspended
arms tightly wrapped, heart beats heard


let our feet be free
by t. zoEy benally

let our feet be free
pick their own path
through ant hills, prairie dog burrows

let these bones find a stable spread
unconfined by shoes that reflect
desires & goals of another culture

let us feel journeys, relearn earth features
so that we might define our exploration
travel four dimension within four mountains

let us find freedom, courage to walk away
from definitions handed out, small pox
blankets, syphillis filled cups, given out at forts


potential wealth
by t. zoEy benally

untapped energy covalent double bonded
into rez rides shelters mice; vermin solace
diverts metal & paint flaked water to weed roots
overflows eye wells, cascades over normally smile hills

roller coaster apex, inhalation held, still a little oxygen left don’t let it go
nose back closed, on pause until CO2 wind rolls through pipes
yellowed “olds” paper stacks, untangled & wound
flour sack string balls await needles

shoes & pants too big, linger, potential room
for potential days when feet are bigger, legs are longer
oo joo ba’i, poor untapped potential wealth
mangy three legged dog with one ear flopped over

washed plastic sandwich baggies clouded, air drying
trailer covered hills, plywood window black chimney poked through
uncles, grandmothers & brothers held hostage
by corneas, lenses that unfailingly identify untapped wealth

what if... today... this potential wealth converted
balance restored between creation and degradation
deep lungful of air—released—exhaled
Wavoka’s vision realized, distorted world infinitely rolled

potential wealth is all that keeps
this door between us
from slamming
in your face


the pants
by t. zoEy benally

worn sun bleached fibers fuzzed
it was Monday, they were there
this pair, crumpled at chain link feet
tired from Saturday, Sunday
and, who knows, maybe Friday night

Thursday the pants scared her
brazenly stretched out across the path
they dared her to step across
she thought of stories of love potions
purchased by lonely old Navajo men
half a herd for a pretty young girl
she detoured 50ft to the right

Wednesday, next week, broken hearted
pants, balled misery, curled around
tumbleweed and goat head thorns
she walked quickly past, fear lingered
she half expected a leg to dart out
wrap around her ankle, dragging
the unwanted denim after her

Tuesday afternoon the wind blew
chased the jeans towards the fence again
she caught a glimpse of a stripey sweater
left behind, almost pretty
she was half interested, and considered,
as she would in a mall, if it
would look cute on her

Friday the pants were making their way
towards the highway
weeks for them to get the hint
even one day strung up on the fence
for everyone to gawk and laugh
denim had finally got a clue
soft blue inched its way slowly
to the road formerly known as 666