Sacred Tessellations


 I scrape my nails against memory wall // the artery explodes — then scabs —

Sour liquid trickles from eyelids // a human carved from copper in a world that prefers gold

Splice my hair with ribbons like them ancient ones //and rub blackberry thorns against my gums to feel home

 I stored childhood inside my spine so it doesn’t rust // dowse it into a bucket of maple so it will crystallize instead

Remembering the breath of my kokoh // sacred tessellations in the undergrowth are also her

Cutting quill shaped quartz on my teeth // the blood memory spills and burns scarlet in the sky


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Charlene Tourtillott

Charlene Tourtillott is a 22-year-old member of the Menominee Nation. She is a Creative Writing student and enjoys writing poetry, fiction and nonfiction. Many themes that she writes about revolve around her experience growing up on the Menominee reservation and are inspired by Menominee stories. She is inspired by writers Louise Erdrich and Gwendolyn Brooks.