through water / through grass / where seeds brush blood, skin, pus / let stalks of wind cool the red mouth opening a cave on the mountain of your arm / where pain lets itself out little by little / there are words you don’t want to write / a shape of history denied so many times it forms a country

if you are hurting / if you are uncertain / know that this body can hold itself to itself and undo at the same time / it is kokum saying kisâkihitin with her hands / stitching beads to a leather purse you will one day hold / your grandmother lying in bed underneath a blue wool blanket / an article she cut from the newspaper waiting for you beside the toaster / it is to feel / shake / kiss / to love so fiercely / it is a sky

SELINA BOAN is a moniyâw/nehiyaw poet living on the traditional, unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. She received Room Magazine’s 2018 Emerging Writer Award and her work was included in The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2018. She works as a poetry editor for Rahila’s Ghost Press.