I’m writing from a provisional place,
a plain invisibly overlaid
with a grid of numbers
and presidents’ names.
I have not stood in the shadow of a tree—
only wandered among cattle and weather,
carrying dried beef
and water from a rain-fed trough.
The house I’ve built is humble,
but I promise the whiskers
on a man’s face can flourish
in either room.
I’ve been stealing another settler’s kitchen
piece by piece, in such small bits
she hasn’t noticed. Each time
I boil a pot of water, I love it
as if it was my own blood
before placing it on the stove.
Stolen smoke carries my love for you
beyond this stead, this spread,
this Homa, home.