SIOBHAN ROCA PAYNE
My Daddy's Birth Certificate Says "Red"
my blood quantum certificate says:
fifty percent indian blood. (not a drop more.)
fifty percent something else. (white.)
there are ghosts in my throat
with thousand-year-old unfinished business
and i’m full of tears from streams that dried before i was born.
my ancestors (a pile of ancient, unsteady stones) send me messages in the form of stomachaches and hawks
it aches deep inside me,
through the territories of trauma,
past the last six hundred years,
through the waters we’ve lost.
i think about having a baby.
but my baby could never be more than half of a half-breed.
how could i stand to give my baby
even less belonging than i have?
but those stones.
those ancient, standing stones.
inside me, a fire heats them to a glow. the fire is alive.
the stones are, too.