Yellow Woman1 min read

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By Nancy Kang
Published in 16.4


Yellow Woman

for Leslie Marmon Silko

she speaks of the sparseness of the bees
who visit in the frenzy of season’s shift
seeking veins of water before the summit
of high noon heat. At first she flinched
against their quivering transit
a whizz near the cheek, small fur bolus
as flesh shrinks

from the striking hand
but they were reading
her mouth, the sweet sweat-baked
face, salt deltas, quartz pebbles
the ox-bow lakes of her under-eyes

a female rattlesnake caught in her fence
lay still as she cut it loose
quivering, like her shears

she memorized, as cartographers, the deep canyons, mineral pools
that turquoise wedge and sulfur dust,
and she would walk
with head swarmed with thoughts, unsheathed her skin
as might a new-shed snake, pink segments against these
atomic clouds of light, a cooling honey mist
breathing in their spirals

and they rise
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