Midnight’s Ballroom

       Midnight’s ballroom is installed in the Wichita Mountains. Like Hades, there’s always
more going in than coming out.
      The dance floor is made from the lumber pulled up from an old high school gym floor
two counties over. The ballroom has the uncanny ability to grant wishes and attract bats.
      The marble bathrooms are immaculate. You’ll come across flattened poets left by their
beer cans decades ago.
      You’ll eventually bump into the old, senile southern mansion that’s still hiding out from
Union troops.


There was a time when Emily Dickinson lived among the Kwahadi Comanche.

       She had so much to say the first few years she lived with us. Enough to fill books, enough
to fill our winter count robes, our ledger art, and all of our dreams for generations to come.
       And then she stopped and said nothing at all.
       She turned her back.
       She turned her back.
       And she turned her back
so many times that soon her feet were facing the wrong way altogether.
       We had to watch her walk onto the reservation, back to front. The Kwahadi did nothing
but sit and listen. The soldiers made no noises. That afternoon lasted a hundred years.


12-Hour Buffalo Robe Calendar of a House Fly

10:20 pm- Deserted Parking Lot Sun Dance– Money taken from a dead Ft. Sill soldier whose
body was found in the front seat of his Chevy with a hose running from the exhaust.

11:39 pm- Menthol Sun Dance– Left-Handed Hummingbird burned his lips on the metal casing
of the wish for a menthol cigarette.

1:77 am- Kitchen Appliance Sun Dance– A descendant of Geronmino makes out with a
descendant of Sitting Bull in the kitchen, catching all the appliances on fire with their hearts full
of napalm.

3:25 am- Commod Cheese Ghost Dance– Coathty was resurrected on top of a cheese pizza. He
fought off the ants for heaven if not for its thickest crumbs.

5:67 am – Tornadoes and UFOs Battle Sun Dance – near Dirty Shame, Oklahoma. The stray
dogs ate the ashes. The falling flat-tin stars cut off the heads of grasshoppers and wasps with

10:20 am – Eggs with Chorizo and Mimosas Sun Dance – A red blanket morning with
possibilities, the blessed cradled in an eagle nest enjoying breakfast.


Sy Hoahwah is an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation of Oklahoma. He received his M.F.A in Creative Writing from the University of Arkansas. Hoahwah is the author of three collections of poetry, Ancestral Demon of a Grieving Bride (University of New Mexico Press, 2021), Night Cradle (USPOCO Books, 2011), and Velroy and the Madischie Mafia (West End Press, 2009). In 2013, Sy was a recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship. See Sy in issues One and Eighteen.   WEB