Say Please

Cleo Keahna

for J. & the ghosts who bore witness

Neither unbound nor belonging, 

we people a weekend. Render 

our lengths kneeling in patience, 

?uerying rituals of dominance.


Our story begins with the sentence: 

“He crossed worlds to be,” 

in this rich oral tradition, “crossed”


has multiple meanings. (Steady;

the Eucharist is bread 

+ horseman broke us both wheat free.)

We’ve awaited this for centuries, 

war shocked and shell torn.

Resinous bloodborne, thyme-

stamped chambers of your dorm. 

One night ordains us New Yorker, 

perhaps now we chance two-feet.

Denied of country, I beg you, 

populate me.

Cleo Keahna (b. Minneapolis, 1997) is a place-bound construct historically associated with what is now known as the Midwest. His poetry has been published twice. Once in the Split Rock Review and once alongside his favorite writers in the Indigenous LGBT Sci-Fi anthology, Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time (Bedside Press, 2016), the latter of which won the SF Galaxy Award for Most Uplifting Love Story. He was also a co-winner of the 2016 Imagining Indigenous Futurisms writing contest, with his short horror dream, Transmission


In addition to his work as a writer, Keahna is also an actor and storyteller. The last two projects he worked on, Sky Hopinka's Dislocation Blues (2017) and Shane McSauby's Mino Bimaadiziwin (2017) are out now, with two more projects on the way. 


Keahna currently lives on a farm in Upstate New York. He hopes to remain a storyteller however he’s able while continuing to grow. 



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