I never called you Coon
though that was home Ricky
brother I still think is God
& pray to bound by half our blood.
Mom’s firstborn by a non-Indian
you came out blond & blue-eyed.

I got my Daddy’s Choctaw eyes.
& eyes are what made Poocha call you Coon.
Crazy bastard with all your Indian
names. On your headstone it’s Ricky.
But wolf is what you carried in your blood.
Poocha took it straight from God.

& whose eyes are bluer than God’s?
Yet you put Mom’s mascara to your eyes.
& burning them you tried to brown your blood.
Fisting them tattooed you like a ring-tailed coon.
From then on Poocha never called you Ricky.
But named you Coon, ‘cause you were Indian.

Then named you again in secret in Indian
& told you how your grandma bet the wolf his eyes
& won. I miss you so much Ricky,
I swear to God.
I thought you were smarter than a damn raccoon,
letting a bunch of rednecks make you doubt your blood.

By 17 you’d made spilling blood
a ceremony & finally learned to kick ass like an Indian.
You even hung a coon-
tail from your Pinto’s rearview mirror. Eyes
still red from dope & daring God
behind your bangs. Then you did it Ricky.

You made the papers as a Richard.
But I want to write your name in blood
on the wall behind Geronimo’s Spirits where God
took you to rest with the Indians
through a western door where no one sees your eyes
& no one calls you Coon.

I’ll write Coon was here & sign it Ricky
call you God & mix your blood
to paint forever closed your Indian eyes.