Under the Bridge

Hey Pocahontas, why don’t you blow me with that mouth?
My hand involuntarily travels to my hair. No braids.
Tug the wife-beater stolen from my brother over the band of my cut-offs.

He is older. Unknown.
Under the bridge where we hide, drink, smoke, fuck.
He moves closer, squats, thigh muscles bulge.

Once on the pillars, near the top, with the drum of traffic
Ain’t nowhere to go but the river.
Po-ca-hon-tas, he sing-songs.

Never done an Indian girl.
What time you have to be back at your tipi?
Done. Indian. Girl.

He hands me a Big Gulp. I sip through the straw.
Burn my throat. I haven’t eaten all day.
The sun is setting; the sky a rotting peach.


Dawn Pichon Barron is a mixed indigenous/white writer and educator working at the Northwest Indian College on the Nisqually Reservation. Her work has appeared, or is forthcoming in Yellow Medicine Review, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Oregon Quarterly, and the anthology, Of A Monstrous Child (Lost Horse Press, 2011). MFA earned at Queens University of Charlotte, NC. She is founder and curator of the Gray Skies Reading Series in Olympia, Washington, where she lives with her wingman and teen beans. Find her:  @pigeongirlsgot.

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