Three Poems by Sedi Tlugv

happy new year

            just take a minute and
            to the whispers on the leaves

do you feel it?
the sun
your skin

the wind knows how
to peel
your flesh

            your blood and bones’ origin
            so that you may rid yourself
                                                          of the
                                                       rot and




nvnv nvnv

tongue soaked in honey, i pray for mercy
to an ear that only hears his heartbeat

nvnv nvnv

i didn’t care about my nails digging into
his sunburnt flesh—he didn’t mind

nvnv nvnv

it was quick as it began and i don’t think
i would have ever had enough

nvnv nvnv

i wouldn’t say that it was magical or that
i felt complete, but i do want more

nvnv nvnv

but i’m greedy like that
i always want more

nvnv nvnv


things that go bump in the night

Honka isn’t Cherokee. It’s a Mvskoke word.
It means monster. Monster has a different name for me.

I’ve known honka since before I can remember. I met it in my kitchen right before my memories begin. I met it time and time again.

Behind curtains, in storage closets, in the woods, bent over the kitchen counter, sneaking into my bedroom, at the bottom of a bottle of jager, spewing black bile, too afraid to say no, walking down the street, behind the ice cream counter, on the porch, in Florida, in the middle of the gulf, in complacency, in jealousy, on the lips of those I’ve loved, in a bar,

at the foot of my bed.

And now honka lives in my head.


Sedi Tlugv (ᏎᏗ ᏡᎬ), is a demisexual demigirl poet, musician, and language warrior. She is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation, where she works in language revitalization. Find her language and music content on Tiktok.