AS ARTICLE 1 . [TREATY WITH THE NEZ PERCÉS, 1855]:
CESSION OF LANDS TO THE UNITED STATES
In the year of their lord, this eleventh day of June, I enter the boundaries of my body:The said [centuries here dissolve & I re-ink nimiipuu] hereby cede, relinquish &
convey—here,I want to convey how my physical testament is written &, at a particular point,
then erased into the land—to the United States all their right, title, & interest in & to the country occupied
or claimed by them,bounded & described as follows, to wit:in the year of their lord, in the boundaries of my body, they intend to clarify
the divisions & say to wit:& so I enter every name of the dead into each source of water, each river mouth,
every flattened field:& I cross out the cross of the divide & lie down on the crest of [every mountain
has its name,a place of, a place where the animals & humans met, a place where the story began,a place where the blood was washed, a place at the heart named for our monster(s)
& tim’néepe,a place where the gray coldness looms like hiqúxquxcenki, where America names over
the land [
lapelápe wéetes], a place where the blue haze of warmth looms like hi’lap’ápxp’apxcanki, where
the bodies lieunburied]. I, a silhouette, a hereunto, am between the articles of the & a(n):
indefinite, definite:& it is here in the boundaries I have no choice but: to set [my] hands, on this
eleventh day of June,on behalf of the above-named, at the place, on the day & year hereinbefore written,
to seal the bodyshut:[x] [an empty cross, fallen ]
Sealed and signed in the presence of us—
Copyright © 2019 by Michael Wasson.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
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