by t. zoEy benally

his feet don’t really match his personality
man poured into size eight running shoes
mother earth replica perched on a spindle
i am impressed at the engineering of his ankles

she loves the secrets that he shares with her
spores released, snuffled out, truffle hints
she smiles eagerly into his face, and nods
watches for crowd reaction to his revelations

he used to hang out by Turquoise, Hogback’s
other side, zigzagged south & north, scared
many tourists, a good boy taking his medicine
stumbled through the Kachina’s dark mouth

she found him out there, moisture and color
dried out of him, mineral crust stains
forgotten doll, she cleaned & oiled, folded him
into a sitting position, placed on her shelf

Navajo sabbatical years he chortled, laughed
until it made him cough, snot bubble threatened
from his nostril edge, and that’s the only thing that
makes him stop, research finally complete, not put off

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