Vanishing Point: Urban Indian


Wendy Rose

It is I in the cities, in the bars, in the 
dustless reaches of cold eyes who 
vanishes, who leans

underbalanced into nothing; it is I 
without learning, I without song, who 
dies & cries the death time, who

blows from place to place hanging onto 
dandelion dust, dying over & over. It is I 
who had to search & turn the stones,

half-dead crawl through the bones, let 
tears dissolve the dry caves where 
woman-ghosts roll piki & insects move 
to keep this world alive.

It is I who hold the generous bowl that 
flows over with shell & stone, 
that is buried in blood, that places its 
shape within rock carvings.

It is I who die bearing cracked turquoise 
& making noise 
so as to protect your fragile immortality 
0 Medicine Ones.

From: Wendy Rose. "Vanishing Point: Urban Indian" from Long Division: a Tribal History (Strawberry Press, 1976). Copyright ©1977 by Wendy Rose. Poem reprinted by permission of the author

As printed in Larry Evers, ed. The South Corner of Time. Tucson, Ariz.: The University of Arizona Press, ©1980, p. 39.