The cat releases his urine on
your side of the bed
where it neatly
pools in the indention
you nightly rest your head
How am I to infer this male urine?
A stream of (un)consciousness?
Relief(-lease) to my neuroses?
A psychoanalytical sweet caress?
The cat releases his yearning
on my side of the bed
Westernized tentacles of Thought
Colon(-ized) instinctual urges
s(M)other the Matriarch’s head
My dynamic unconscious reaches
to strangle the cat, my past life
extends a hand to stroke fixations,
relief with each sleek touch
The cat (wise old man) releases his Jungian
approach, vicissitudes flood my bed-
lam. The body politic morphs, treaty lines
blackened with cedar charcoal. Your
Urban Indian complex(ations), fix(you)ations thunder and split
ABOUT THIS POEM
“This poem uses psychoanalytical thought to comprehend an Indigenous psyche; the poem is irony. If not every Indigenous person on the planet, then most carry and/or are working on healing from intergenerational/historical trauma. I have been doing my personal work for decades and am at a place where writing and educating folx about the process is no longer re-traumatizing. Enjoy this offering and celebrate with me in the revitalization of Indigenous poetics.”
Esther Belin is the author of two collections of poetry, including Of Cartography (University of Arizona Press, 2017), and is one of four editors of The Diné Reader: An Anthology of Navajo Literature (University of Arizona Press, 2021). A Navajo Nation citizen, she lives in southwestern Colorado, in the Four Corners.