Anthony Ceballos

Anthony Ceballos (the son of a mother enrolled with the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe) received his BFA in Creative Writing from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota. In 2016 he was selected to be a Loft Literary Center Mentor Series mentee. His poetry has been featured in Yellow Medicine Review,Midway JournalSleetWriters Resist, and upcoming from Great River Review. He lives, breathes and writes in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He can be found penning staff recommendations at Birchbark Books and Native Arts.

Photo by Sasha Suarez

September 2018


you         are my sister,

you         are my brother,

you         are my mother,

you         my father begging to be a father,

you         are my breaking bones,

my need               to drown in the womb,

be reborn             as an already dead rose,

through dirt          on an earth not on fire,

this land          this Native apocalypse, this

your flesh ungendered          your body      unsexed,

my hair around your hair, our eyes sewn shut,

as we swim through tar, through molten rock,

through a split in our skin,       a split through

time       through air, through fog, and you

you who are my sister,

you who are my brother, my mother,

my father begging to be my father,

                  shoot thorns from your tongue,

                  watch their bibles go up in flames,

their english reduced to an ash

our relations will blow away

                  with a single breath.

                  We will not be silent, we

                  were never meant to be silenced,

                                    they cut out our tongues,

                  told us that’s the way it is

                  and gouged out our eyes,

but we will not remain blind

as we claw our way back home,

in the dark, us descendants, us enrolled,

us twenty-three-point five percent, 

us sixty-seven percent, full blood, half blood,

reservation, inner-city, high schooled, college schooled,

no schooled, boarding schooled, with our fathers, without 

our fathers, our mothers in hospital beds, our mothers

in nursing homes, our mothers in agony, we 

will weave our stories together     and end 

this end-time colonial settler nightmare

they call America.