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Adááʼ (lip). Atsooʼ (tongue). I might not know

the words for for lust or thrust or that wet greased

growl that you make with jaws stretched as you show

me just how far I can go –– but at least

you taught me to say adástsooʼ. We mapped

out our bodies with skull-fucking, hair

pulling and the heat of the day still trapped

in the skin of your pickup. This is prayer

as well. Not Bilagáana or Dineh

prayer, but still holy. Something to drive nine

hundred miles for. Somewhere out in the owl’s

light a goat bleats. Tomorrow we will pray

again without the need for language, mine

or yours, just our untranslatable howls.



In Diné bizaad (the Navajo language), adástsooʼ is the word for the clit. Bilagáana is an older term for white people (such as myself). Owl’s light is another way of talking about the dusk. 900 hundred miles is a reference to Judy Grahn’s “Love rode 1500 miles on a grey hound bus & climbed in my window one night to surprise both of us.” I’ve always adored that poem.