Do not romanticize my spirituality.
There are days
When I’m more capable of hiding from Father Sun
Than I am of sending out a quick prayer of thanks
Before a meal.
My flaws have been forced by your supremacy;
A tree struck by lightning.
Now I must work endlessly to realign myself.
To ignore this will only please your ancestors.
Do not ask me to bless this or that of yours
And only offer coin.
Yes, the price of my head is lower than most
And, yes, my blessings are valuable
And have turned the miserable into glistening bubbles.
But know I hold no value in any of the white man’s paper.
See me as someone who you continue to
Steal life from
History and home from.
This is something YOUR presidents will never correct.
If I accept your money, know that I’m doing so
Out of the need to survive
Because your society is doing its damnedest to end me.
My hand is coerced
And I am not proud.
I will have to sing for myself more than I will for your blessing.
And then after your paper has burned through,
We will both be in the same place as before.
Colonizer, yes you.
See me as Niitsitapi
See me as human.
See me as Two-Spirit
And when you approach me
With consuming eyes
And wondrous ideas of how to
“properly” acknowledge your crimes
And my glory
Recognize who the fuck you’re talking to
Because I will not tell you again
EFNIKS aims to support queer & trans poets of color across our platform. To be considered for paid poetry publication, visit our Submissions Page, or write to our Poetry Editor at email@example.com. To donate to our volunteer-run platform that pays its contributors, head to our support page.