Lung Mask

Sherwin Bitsui


I stretch dusk

over my face


puncture eyeholes

with coyote teeth,


see wolves

daubed with


wrens’ blood

howling southward;


blue birds nesting

in their ears.


This season’s

splinters, sleepless


in tree rings—ringing,

as drought pecks


into halves

each trickle of



Sherwin Bitsui (Diné) is originally from White Cone, Arizona, on the Navajo Reservation. He is Diné of the Todich’ii’nii (Bitter Water Clan), born for the Tl’izilani (Many Goats Clan). He is the author of Shapeshift, Flood Song, and Dissolve. His honors include a Lannan Foundation Literary Fellowship and a Native Arts & Culture Foundation Arts Fellowship. He is also the recipient of a 2010 PEN Open Book Award, an American Book Award, and a Whiting Writers Award. He is on faculty at Northern Arizona University.

%d bloggers like this: