Search

Bojan Louis


Today, I know ends with day. Been up since 3:45am. My four-month-old daughter stirs, I feed her six-ounces of a soy-based formula from a bottle that she’ll take her time eating. It’s likely that I’ll have until six or six-thirty to write, at which time I’ll wake, change, and feed her another six ounces, then, after she’s been burped and held upright for at least thirty minutes I’ll put her in the stroller with a pacifier, burp cloth, and a muslin blanket that will act as shade from the desert sun when necessary. We’ll walk our approximate mile loop around the predominately upper-class white neighborhood, in which I don’t feel entirely comfortable, with the dog and…

…another day with day. It’s been, I don’t how long, but it's grown hotter directly after dawn and well into dusk. My wife and I won’t take our baby out when it’s more than 76 degrees because the ever rising sun and temperature will surpass 80 degrees in a matter of minutes, and we’ve been told by our daughter’s pediatrician and surgeon not to take her out in temperatures 80 or above, as infants can’t regulate their body temperatures. More measurements, more counting …

…back in March our daughter underwent two life threatening emergency surgeries and our family spent three weeks in the PICU, the first go my wife and I spent it together, alternating shifts of sleeping: she, during the first part of the night, and me, the latter part until dawn. We were allowed visitors then, my parents bringing us food, driving us to our house for a shower, changes of clothes, changes of scenery. Friends brought us carry-out. After seven days we were released only to return to a different emergency room after our baby turned gray/blue in her car seat on the way to a follow up appointment, was transported via ambulance to pediatric emergency. By then …

…Covid-19 in full unfurl we took turns spending time with our daughter in shifts, one at a time. My wife through the night and morning, myself, through the day and into the late evening. Did we sleep, no. Have we slept, no. Will we ever sleep, maybe a little. As I write this my daughter naps, my wife exercises in the basement until it’s my shift to exercise in the basement; the basement ten to fifteen degrees cooler than the house. We’ve talked, my wife and I, about joy, how we’re both afraid to feel it, perhaps, don’t really know what it feels like anymore. I was finally able to admit that through all those days in the hospital as I read, sang, and spoke to my daughter I was preparing my mind for a world without her. A none world that was only darkness …

…the nation burns, suffers, screams, fights, and revolts. And still I count, measure, and time. My daughter finally above twelve pounds, in the thirtieth percentile for her months, but in the hundred percentile for her length/height. She’s growing to be a mixed race Diné womxn in an ever, and always, fascist nation. I know there’s only so much I can do to assure that she doesn’t have experiences similar to mine: abuse at the hands of caretakers and religion, racial attacks living in a border town, substance abuse and suicide attempts, false accusations of felony theft for my darker skin tone, harassed by pigs for walking, another pig holding a gun to my head demanding I tell him where the drugs in my car were, or …

… anger. I’m always angry. Since the first hand that ever harmed me, harmed me. The world, ever smoldering. Our Indigenous and POC youth and matriarchs never laying down, giving up. My daughter: ancestral-future here to kick ass and shove shit back in hateful mouths, literally or metaphorically. And I suppose that’s a hope I can hope.

218 views1 comment
Subscribe to Our Site
All images other than author photos and artist artwork ©Matthew Batt 2020