by waaseyaa'sin christine sy

all i can think of this namebin giizis is twilight. minokimii cold. the colour of coming night and frigid springtime air on my face. blue, a different hue than biidaaban, biidaasige. coming night during this moon is not the same as coming morning last moon. it must be the frost and ice. i’m pretty sure aki is sad when it goes. it smells like sad, like clinging, like happy to warm up but sad to see you go, friend. until next time. i can smell the longing of the land. but still it hurts. excruciating. longing for the land this side of night. coming morning and coming night, coming light. memories of sitting and waiting for the dark, mesmerized, and all i can think of is shifting light in the air, undulating waters waiting. the metal of a boat is cold but its shape is comforting. a bundle. the tips of fingers freezing. nose. earlobes. but the wide open life this month on the lake at night

the wide open life this month on the lake at night

but the wide open life.

there are fields and strip malls and big houses where i live. no wide open lake. no coming blue. there is a wide open sky i get to and peepers. the same night sky is here. i can get lost here like i can anywhere. my bedroom sits in the south, in a birds nest and coming night brings peepers and coming morning brings birds. grateful. ever wake up in niibin’s arms? yes. blessing? there are gegeksssss and waawaashkeshiwag. like pets almost. i’ve never been as close to them as i have here in the wide open sterile land of blocks and lines and money. here, not in the bundle of namebin giizis at night on the lake being held up by anangwan. in two months waawaatesiwag will be out my window. glowing bums attracting mates.

but the wide open life this month on the lake at night

the wide open life

. water rolls through long tall grasses, ripples propelled by black shadows licking and teasing the sky dancing on lake water ripples black, blue shimmers and undulations. springtime-twilight-blue turns night and cold air. the sun expires himself, exhausted. expired from giving all he had in the last few minutes. a good time. takes all the oranges, fuschias, magentas of the day. finally. this blue, night time blue reflecting off water is easy on the eyes. it’s like sleeping. sitting in the vibrations of spring peepers, water lapping up against cold metal, and stars. it’s easy. it makes a woman greedy for more. or maybe just desperate for it to never end. makes a ikawe grateful. the wanting more and can’t have more is healthy. the fish and stars, they’ll give what they want. and no more.

the year she woke up the morning after and her body ached. long stretches of gentle pain along her flank and back igniting history and the future. those tender first time feelings come back now. tomorrow morning the push-pull stretch will live in her body smiling.




a million.


a bat flying by before all the stars come out to play. it’s so loud out here. a flap of a beaver tail on the water, shuffle of water grasses, bineshiinyag, and amphibians—a chorus. the sounds the stars make.

you and me, we’re in a boat on a lake and it’s blue and the constellations all feel like love. we’re safe here with the asemaa, poles, lights, spears. nobody can mess this up. we got the night, waiting for shining dots beneath waters. curving bodies coming, going. push, pull. turn. stab. nobody can hurt us. we got us and hot tea, knowing silences and sounds of lapping water. we got us and our way. the sinking fluorescent colours of day and brilliant dark hues of blue and starry skies, frog songs, and shining eyes at night beneath water.

i look up and i don’t know, i could be wrong, but it feels like the night sky and the frogs, the bats, and rolling silhouettes of our ancestral hills don’t want us to ever leave. not ever.