happy new year
just take a minute and
to the whispers on the leaves
do you feel it?
the wind knows how
your blood and bones’ origin
so that you may rid yourself
tongue soaked in honey, i pray for mercy
to an ear that only hears his heartbeat
i didn’t care about my nails digging into
his sunburnt flesh—he didn’t mind
it was quick as it began and i don’t think
i would have ever had enough
i wouldn’t say that it was magical or that
i felt complete, but i do want more
but i’m greedy like that
i always want more
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.