Pipe tobacco rolled in bank receipts
Smoked smooth from dirt to peat
With each sip of french pressed
And honeyed coffee. My body
Is a bog. I wanted to quit
This winter. Two restless dogs
Banjo and Fiddle jig their feet
Even in sleep. Rising Cloud sleeps shallow,
Stirs hallow and aching for thunders.
The snow is trapezoid trapeze artists
Dangled in funnels, swirling frost devils.
They tangle my drift driveway,
The space between
Our elk hide drum Waabishkaa Bizhiki Aanikwit
And Sunday Mass at St. Kateri’s Catholic Church.
Hyacinths are buried under a mantle of ice
And Fiddle nurses Banjo’s busted duclaw
With his tongue, saliva pitch like a winter tuning fork.
If my body is a bog
I want bears to sleep in my arm pits
And flowers to bloom from my chest.
I swell with stifled earth.
Tyler Dettloff is an Anishinaabe Métis, Italian, and Irish writer, professor, musician, and water protector raised on the edge of the Delirium Wilderness. He currently lives in Gnoozhekaaning (Bay Mills, Michigan). Tyler teaches College Composition at LSSU and is the NF Editor for Border Crossing Lit. Mag. He has earned a B.S. in English and a dual track M.A. in Literature and Pedagogy from NMU. His work has been featured in Voice on the Water, Crab Fat Magazine, Heartwood Literature Magazine, and Swimming with Elephants publications. Mostly, he enjoys walking along rivers with his wife Daraka and through swamps his dogs Banjo and Fiddle.