I do not know your language though I hear the breaking of waves
through the vowels.

It is blue and if I am to follow protocol I will introduce myself
through my mother and hers until you know the liquid mass of ancestors
and in that you might know that I did not find myself
here on your island by some coincidence.

When you walk toward me from the ocean you are cobalt
and the people whose chants have constructed the intimate
canyons of your bones can be glimpsed suddenly as water clings
to your skin, your hair. I can hear the singing.

My spirit flew across the country of blue water
on a path made of a song that shifts the molecular structure
of rain clouds whenever it is recalled.

Migrations form a network of sense
that mimics neuron patterns
in the wave of dolphins, water, and humans.

When the Mvskoke emerged from that misty original place
we were led by four young winds, and a star who took the form
of talking fire. After we set up camp some of us went to look for water.

I found it years later, near the scarlet volcano just as it was predicted,
when companies of white men have fooled themselves and the
sleeping ones into thinking they’ve bought the world.

My family has the iron cooking pot that was traded to us
when treaties were forced with blood. Those who signed were killed.
Now I have a gas range and there is no end to the war.

When I arrive from the sky after traveling through clouds
and the afterburn of jets I will consider the gift
of those who kept walking through their feet were bloodied
with cold and distance, as their houses and beloveds lands
were burned behind them.

When we meet at the gates of power you honor me with pikake and maile
and a chant that allows me to paddle with you into the waters
so I will not be known as a stranger.

I offer you coral and tobacco and a song that will make us vulnerable
to the shimmer of the heart, allow us to walk the roots
with our peoples through any adversity to sunrise.

This is how I know myself.