National Museum of
the American Indian

Into the museum of our people, I take you by the hand,
through the exhibits.

It means something to kiss you here.


By the exhibit on Native skateboarding and surfing,
I take your tongue into my mouth; and you, mine.

We are protected.

Our art and bodies, for once, protected.

People need to go through security to get to us. Perhaps this
is where we are most safe: behind glass.

People can’t say shit,

or there’ll be consequences.

You gonna say something

to two queer Native boyz

in a Native museum?

Who knew this is where our kiss-ins should be?

We come home.

At places the general public can’t
enter with weapons. Past the electric wands and gates,
security guards, you have to pay admission to see us.

Perhaps they will bring offering. Centuries in waiting.

                         Grand Entry.

Perhaps this is where
queer powwows can occur, urban Indianz can go.
Where we can make out. Have our 49er songs.

                   Imagine 1491.

We seal the deal with a kiss.

Amidst other works of art.

I take you before I make love to you. There is a pattern,
processional. Protocol for mating.

I take you here; then we eat. Then we will eat again.

You, so good against my tongue.
You, the one treasure I stole from the museum.


Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhan

Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhan is the author of Antes y después del Bronx: Lenapehoking and South Bronx Breathing Lessons, both forthcoming, and editor of the international queer Indigenous issue of Yellow Medicine Review: A Journal of Indigenous Literature, Art, and Thought. Born to a multigenerational mixed-race family (Moroccan, Puerto Rican, Kanien’kehaka, Onondowaga, Irish, German), he is a member of the Radius of Arab American Writers, Inc. (RAWI). His work appears in Rusted Radishes; Gallimaufry; Mizna; A Different Path: An Anthology of the Radius of Arab American Writers; and Inclined to Speak: An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Poetry.

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