#182 Party on Indian School and University by Matthew Jake Skeets

and all he thinks about are his brown, cracked
feet.  The dead skin and yellow nails slipped
into a pair of black no-shows, and the music pumps.
The kids’ pocket wrappers and crushed beer cans
almost began bouncing on the tattered carpet. And the lights
make him want to scream, the native boy sitting
on the coffee table thinking about parties on the rez.

How they smell so much the same, like beer breath
and nachos. They even say the same things, call him
pussy if he doesn’t want to drink. And he starts to wonder
boarding-school mothers, in their tight Levi jeans
and cowboy boots, line dancing in dirt, with a mix
of a drunken Macarena. And how they forget Navajos
weren’t supposed to drink, and in the morning
they lay on cold, morning-blue grounds, shirts torn,
somewhere in ditches.

The music fades into a slow dance as three couples
congeal on the tattered carpet.  Hormonal chants
about the missionary position, enticing the boys and girls
with powwows in their pants, dissolves the skin colors
of these kids, and no one is white anymore.
They are a greasy tint of cheap beer and 7-11 liquor.
Everyone zips in and out of bedrooms,
and someone dims the lights.

A translucent-skinned girl staggers towards
the sitting native boy, and she is wide-eyed,
like after Ghost Dance, ready for her stoic native,
feathered and buckskinned. The boy shifts his body
in surrender
and he feels her heavy tit in his palm and her hand
edging near his crotch.  And she starts sucking
on his bottom chapped lip, her body sweaty
with acceptance.

Matthew Jake Skeets is a Navajo, of the Black-Streak-Wood People, born for Water’s Edge. He is a fourth year student at the University of New Mexico and is from Vanderwagen, New Mexico. Writing and storytelling are in his blood.


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