kateri akiwenzie-damm

i twist and gasp
open and close my mouth
whenever a sturgeon is caught in the rainy river
i know
the feel of strange hands touching my body
the struggle
to be free
the longing to go where i want to go
i feel
the impact of stick or rock on bone
the splash of colour
then the emptiness that is my head
my head like a midnight sky if the stars and moon were captured
by another heaven
i know
even when i am awake again
sitting at the kitchen table
staring at my plate with its bramble design
and rough chipped edges
i know

that is why i do not eat sturgeon
because i know
when a sturgeon is caught in the rainy river
i am a sturgeon
and i dangle on hooks

From My Heart is a Stray Bullet, Kegedonce Press.

© 1997 kateri akiwenzie-damm

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