HISTORY OF THE DISCOVERY OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS 

by Abigail Chabitnoy

On these hitherto unknown islands in the sea, discovered with the help of God

 

On these islands hitherto known and named:

Atan, Unmax, Navran-Alaxsxa, Atx̂ ax̂, Qisxa, Angatux̂ , Samiyan, Adaax, Kanaga, ...


On these islands hitherto since and still inhabited by “real persons,” by “we the people”

 

On these islands since looted and enslaved and saved
 

No trees are growing
 

One may walk freely

 

The soil is unproductive, except:

      the ordinary grasses
      and sweet grasses
      and edible roots

      and berries abundant


Among the islands is one with a burning mountain which shines brightly

 

And the people come
 

From the other islands, the first people,

      the hitherto knowing people of these islands


The people come to bathe and cook in the hot springs

      what they do not eat raw


In their skin boats of envious design

      they come

 

Clever and quick

                                                                                                                                                they come 

 

 

 

 

 

Abigail Chabitnoy is a poet of mixed Unangan/Sugpiaq descent. She earned her MFA in poetry at Colorado State University and was a 2016 Peripheral Poets fellow. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Pleiades, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Red Ink, and Mud City, and she has written reviews for Colorado Review, the Volta blog, and The Courier.

 

 

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