Two Poems by Sedi Tlugv


Moss covers the stumps of trees in the woods
Fragmented rays of sun twinkle through leaves
The humidity swelled with the hums of cicadas 
My skin, worn & brittle, peels in my sleeves 

With every breath, drowning, yet,
I breathe
Each step brings me closer to the clearing
The sun cracks my flesh, and I sweat out
Every thought I had about loving coyotes 

The leaves turn from green to red to brown
Setting the hills on fire until their death
The sun sets, unsettling the night creatures
Owls chatter in the pines over my baked head

As the night becomes colder, the wind blows
Howling at the moon, piercing the crisp air
The love once here ran through the brushwood 
Catching itself in the heavy thicket

The sun rises from frozen ground, shimmers
Like the dust of diamonds put on display
Breath that isn’t caught, fogs in to frost
I discover myself shedding my skin each day

A weak hello and a hard goodbye this time
And every so often, a look through the flames 
Ruffled feathers floating to the wet ground
I’ve changed, but I’m still, roughly, 

the same.


Matriarchs-To-Be In Mourning

driving around town with my best friend, showing each other the songs we love, the sounds that make the world sweeter. both of us sad, for different reasons, but similar enough to know each other’s pain. the aux comes loose, needing a jiggle, music becomes static and faded. the crackle of the sound waves reverberate inside of my ears and inside of my chest. i find the right angle and we resume singing, pausing once we hear a powwow drum, holler out the tune, and bellow our lele’s into the night air that races past us as we laugh our joy. just two rezzy, rugged girls who have lost love and some of their perspective, reminding each other of who we are, the heart and lifeblood of a whole nation; two bloodlines sharing space when our ancestors were sent here to die—do they smile now? are we their vision? i think so. i think we are exactly who they prayed for when they prayed for us.


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. Her writings have previously appeared in beestung. Find her language and music content at