Arms, face, scrotum – dark brown.
The kind of brown to drive
monsters to exterminate
bison to starve
Design policy with intentional marketing titles.
Assimilation; Relocation; Termination.
Enough to talk about a vanishing race
in front of you as theory and practice.
Enough to throw stats out
as a summation of cultural identity.
Erasure thread of empire
its subjects uneasy,
to express you wooden.
And to say it's just conver-
sation. Or playing devil's ad-
vocate. Maybe they know
closed fists in pockets
they change subject.
I use shading – the back of hands
to gauge who is in the tutelage
of systemic beauty.
Adorned beautiful, we darken each other.
Ripe for violence, I carry lived stories
interface beauteous facade.
Have seen anxiety coil unravel belly at day's end.
Curiosity curated social media feed
reinforced by sentient algorithm.
It's barbed threading through digits.
I work through the other's language,
I feel hypocritical. I dream English language.
Added: Friday, July 24, 2020 / Used with permission. Trevino L. Brings Plenty performs "Red-ish Brown-ish" on June 11, 2020 as part of Split This Rock's 2020 Virtual Poetry Reading Series.
Trevino L. Brings Plenty's work has appeared in Yellow Medicine Review, Red Ink Magazine, World Literature Today, Plume, Prairie Schooner, North American Review, Waxwing, Poetry, and New Poets of Native Nations. He received his MFA in Poetry from Institute of American Indian Arts. He has two poetry collections: Wakpá Wanáǧi, Ghost River, and Real Indian Junk Jewelry.
Trevino L. Brings Plenty was a Featured Poet for Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation & Witness (March 26-28, 2020) in Washington, DC which was cancelled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Split This Rock began a virtual poetry reading series in May 2020 which included a reading by Justice Ameer, Kyle Dargan, Trevino L. Brings Plenty, and Cameron Awkward-Rich on June 11, 2020.