Kai Minosh Pyle


dancing around
that little itch, those
tiny blossoms inside
me when our skin
makes air grow thin between us,
I’m hoping you don’t notice
             whispering prayer songs at night,
teaching small children how to grow
their hearts under incubators’ light
             —organic sunshine hard to find
these days, but
yours is warm against my face
and I don’t want you to see the way
I capture it, cradle it close.
I think to myself,           
                          too much in this world
has been wasted already. let
the heat generated in our gazes
not be yet one more loss.  
reaching out with
my right hand, and offering
my left              to the sky
             I’m whispering your name
with the instructions to grow your heart
                          to mine


The knowledge of how to create a new world is etched into my bones in a language
that has been mostly forgotten. The memory of how to read it comes
only when seen underwater, during a heavy storm. Once it is read, it is
impossible not to act on its instructions, compelled by the force of the ancestors
and unborn, as-yet-unimagined descendants. It will not be knowable in advance
what shape the new world will take. If she will take form framed in fire, or
arise out of the waves, like the last world. Pronouns are not a given.
We will build a wigwam out of soda bottles and mud, with an opening
in the top for the stars to enter. They will show us the way
to the ghost road. Follow those spirits to the end of the path, and that
is where we will build the next world.

(title quoted from Lou Cornum’s The Space NDN’s Star Map)

Kai Minosh Pyle is a Métis/Anishinaabe Two-Spirit writer and language revitalization advocate born and raised in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and currently living in the Dakota people’s homelands in occupied Bde Ota Otunwe (Minneapolis, Minnesota). Their work has previously been published in PRISM International, Red Rising Magazine, kimiwan zine, and Queer Indigenous Girl. They are interested in Anishinaabe Two-Spirit histories, literature written in Anishinaabemowin, and language revitalization as a form of Indigenous futurism in action.