at the boiling place

by waaseyaa'sin christine sy

everything about this place is yearning. aching. slowly pulsing upward, up and up. down. the slow, rhythmic undulations of life, quenching veins that have gone untouched all season. sinking deeply back into aki, roots. inching forward again thirsty and craving new breathe and again, retreating. an insecurity. a tease. a knowing.

and then again. again.

the sugar bush reminds me of you. this is not unlike all the other seasons, weather conditions. they all remind me of you. this is not unlike all the other letters. those that never left the longing of my body, content to remain there, a tension fulfilled not with words but a private touch and release. and those that had no choice but to spill out onto a screen in eager font—easy on the eyes but still urgently curving into symbols, letters, words—never moving beyond the option to save. all those wantful, tender truths evaporated into digital ether.

everything here makes me want to lurch forward to you and makes me need to be held back. forward, retreat. the way aki clenches and contracts on cold nights and warms up to flowing waters and trickles on sunny days warming up….the sounds  and smells and sights of breaking and relief. it’s too much.

i can’t help but think of us wound up beside a hot, sparking fire. frigid hands seeking searing flesh beneath layers of clothes and sugar bush stars, our silhouettes dancing on onaabin—hard crusted snow.

i took a drink of cold wiishkaabaaboo this morning straight from the bucket and it ran out over and down the left side of my mouth and jaw, trickled down my neck, over my collar-bone before the ribbing on the worn out shirt you sent me stopped it. i let it travel, traced it with my fingers and wondered your hot breathe and tongue, tasting it; lips inching along the way. i wondered you humming the details of this season’s sweetness content into my ear, going back to get details about how my skin smelled of last nights fire. i wondered us all here: aandegag with their un-nerving, high pitched kaa kaa no no and you and me with deep, soulful laughs and rumbling whispers eya eya yes yes rolling urgently between us and ininaatigoog.