I come from the Duckwater Shoshone and Southern Ute nations. I was raised on the Southern Ute Indian reservation in southern Colorado; I consider that place along with the Pyramid Lake Paiute reservation in Nixon, NV my two homes, my origins. Because of the strong connection I feel towards place, I feel I am a child of both water and the desert. Perhaps this is one of the reasons I have chosen to make my home here in Albuquerque. I am grounded in these elements and fascinated by the push pull of the water. There is so much we can learn about life, loss, and the relationships between people (each other) from the land and earth if we open ourselves to these lessons. My writing comes out of a sense of longing learned from the desert and water because maybe what we all long for is to know what it is like to be that space where the waves meet the sand. It is this balance I try to question, investigate, and delve into each time I put the pen to the page.
I graduated from Stanford University in June 2008 with a Bachelors in English (emphasis in creative writing). Now, I am pursuing a MFA in poetry from UNM.
HOLE IN MY HEART
I came into this world
incomplete, born with a hole
in my heart. It happened
in my mother’s womb.
Doctors have a name for it,
“call it congenital cardiovascular defect.”
My grandmother calls it “the moon
emptied of its many faces.” It is against nature;
creation sometimes has a will of its own.
Or is it a pact from the past
made long ago? It happened
in my mother’s womb, the blood
vessels closest to my heart
didn’t develop normally; the way nature
or God intended for it to be.
When the doctors say hereditary,
my grandmother responds
ancestrally – in prayer, in songs gifted
to her. My mother and I, do not know
the words. But, when grandmother sings
she is calling on horses to run
in on clouds to protect us,
to save us. Long ago, there was a man
who loved my great great great grandmother.
The love connected two people,
two spirits, so deeply
it shook the earth. I imagine it,
the way it should have lasted – long after
the moon. Yet, he left
her. His leaving made this
hole passed down in my grandmother’s
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