Journal » Trout 12 » The Last World Of Fire And Trash [Joy Harjo]
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The Last World of Fire and Trash

Joy Harjo

I don't know anything anymore
or if that cricket is still singing
in a country where crickets are banned.

I'm Indian in a strange pastiche of hurt and rain
smells like curry and sweat
from a sunset rock and roll restaurant.
A familiar demon groaning with fear
has stalked me here, ruins poetry, then
his swollen pride commandeers.

So long, goodbye, oh fearful one.
My desires had turned into a small mountain.
Of dirty clothes, sax gig bag, guitar
books, shoes and grief
that I packed and carried
from one raw wound to another.

Beneath the moon rocking above Los Angeles
or outside the stomp dance fire of memory,
I told him, you can choose to hate me
for going too far, or for being a nothing
next to a pretty nothing like you.

I can't get betrayal out of my mind,
out of my heart
in this hotel room where Iím packing for home.
Iíve seen that same face whirring
in the blur of a glass of wine
after the crashed dance,
the goodbye song
in the last world of fire and trash.

The most dangerous demons spring from fire
and a broken heart, warning of bittersweet aftershave
and the musk of a thousand angels.
And then I let that thought go running away
because I refuse to stay in bondage
to an enemy, who thinks he wants what I have.

The last council of peace was disrupted by this fearful beast,
as I fled from the house of my mother
through this severed country.
I turned my cheek as my head parted through a curtain of truth
and erupted from the spirit world to this gambling place—

And I send prayers skyward
on smoke.
Release this suffering.
Let the pretty beast and all the world know peace.

I refuse to sum it up anymore; itís not possible.
I give it up
to the battering of songs against the light,
to the singing of the earnest cricket
in the last world of fire and trash.


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© Copyright 2004 Joy Harjo & Trout.