We market, we brand
Using extensive, provocative search terms
Use what we have, shake what our mamas gave us
The specialist, the martyr, the archetype

Sell our souls if we have the sense to sell them
Use our skins for seduction
Being half Asian
The guy from the reservation that knows what he is talking about

Hiding in closets
Setting them on fire
And telling people about it

Put a little buzz in our landscape
And our coffees
Everyone wants to be exceptional

We keep it all together
Even when the Big Medicine is burning our brains
Cover your ass, document, document

Stomachs tightening, ovaries hardening
Wanting something other than being alone
Say someday it will all make sense

Trained, modern-day, capitalistic assassins
Uncrushing smile lines
Painting over cracks that prove we lived
Someday it will all make sense

‘Til then we wear our everyday armor
Well-groomed for battle
Office tigers hoping side gigs will take us on the Red Road


Autumn Bernhardt writes, teaches, and speaks about environment and social justice.  She has worked as a Tribal Attorney for the White Mountain Apache Tribe, clerked for a judge, and served as an Assistant Attorney General.  She represented Colorado in U.S. Supreme Court litigation involving interstate rivers and was involved in sacred lands litigation on behalf of tribes.  Autumn currently teaches courses related to Environmental Law, Indian Law, civil rights, and persuasive writing.

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