Blue butterfly among purple and white flowers in a foggy field

One Poem by Michael Wasson

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Landscape with Visual History Centuries Later

I am not here
                      to conquer
         this field of









q’úx q’úx q’úx
                    xattát:     ’íske ɬéep-1





1 [the sound of] clouds / torn [in the hands]: like butterflies
2 [gone] butterflies:
3 in the mouth / a landscape [after a light snowfall]—




Michael WassonMichael Wasson is Nimíipuu from the Nez Perce Reservation in Lenore, Idaho. He earned a BA from Lewis-Clark State College and an MFA from Oregon State University. The author of Swallowed Light (Copper Canyon Press, 2022), Self-Portrait with Smeared Centuries (Éditions des Lisières, 2018), translated by Beatrice Machet, and This American Ghost (YesYes Books, 2017), Wasson is the recipient of a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship, a Native Arts & Cultures Foundation National Artist Fellowship in Literature, the Adrienne Rich Award for Poetry, and others. He currently lives in Japan. 

Header photo by LedyX, courtesy Shutterstock. is the world’s first online journal of place, publishing a rich mix of literature, art, commentary, and design since 1998.