One More Thing, Before We Bleed Out.
By Shaawan Francis Keahna.
“He touched me soft, and I prayed / saw branches in his fingertips, in his eyes, / mouth, skin“
Perne#7 by Cleve Gray.
for burnished calluses
to glass and acid to pour my toxic heavy
Lord, deliver me from emails
ivory towers and dreams of crimson
cheeked professors holding my body
together at the shoulders,
my embarrassed cries of “everything
outside hurts me, everything in here is
Before the candles,
the cake, before the cake, our mothers
aching for better sons, better daughters
He touched me soft, and I prayed
saw branches in his fingertips, in his eyes,
I prayed to the tree he was and the tree I’d
been and the sticks and the stones and
the bones, the smoke of the dead.
Before we stoked, he called me home
to my worst secret, my deepest core, and
when I answered him correctly,
he pushed me to the floor.
The Blood Pudding – June 1, 2023
Shaawan Francis Keahna is a cross-disciplinary artist and musician. His comics have been published in A Howl by Native Realities, Butter Saint by YBI Studios, and the Asian Cyborg and Other Othered Bodies by Ellie Hyojung Lee. His words can be found in R.I.S.E. Indigenous, the Vassar Review’s “Fact, Fiction, and Fabrication,” and the Indigenous LGBT Sci Fi anthology, Love Beyond Body, Space and Time. He performs with his father as Billy Jackass and by himself as Bogo La$ik. He is a transient twenty-something who currently resides in Northern Minnesota.
Artwork: Cleve Gray was an American painter best known for his calligraphic abstractions which melded elements of Abstract Expressionism, Color Field painting, and traditional Chinese scroll painting. Often contrasting flat applications of colors with gestural brushstrokes, You can find more about him here.