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The Darkest Everything

By Taté Walker

PROMPT—Privilege ...

i am buried

so deep

and dark

in your glorious universe

the obsidian space around


so rich with unexplored life

my joy stretches like

summertime shadows

felt in your vivid

blacks and browns

shades of warmth

and strength

protection against the bright white

that exposes all our faults and fears

there’s a lie in light

burning us away from one another

turning our underground ceremony

to ash

tricking us into believing that dirt

with its endless possibilities for growth

is unclean

its glare tries to colonize

our hopes with dread and disdain for


the dark offers

as if the expansive unknown

isn’t always a

mysteriously murky adventure

where we find ourselves

rooted together

ready to bloom

two spirits

rising together

with winter’s new moon

into the darkest



Taté Walker (they/them) is a Lakota citizen of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe of South Dakota. They are an award-winning Two Spirit storyteller for outlets like The Nation, Pipe Wrench, Apartment Therapy, Subaru Drive, Everyday Feminism, Native Peoples, Indian Country Today, and ANMLY. They are also featured in several anthologies: FIERCE: Essays by and about Dauntless Women, South Dakota in Poems, W.W. Norton's Everyone's an Author, and The Languages of Our Love: An Indigenous Love and Sex Anthology (forthcoming Summer 2022). Their first full-length poetry book, The Trickster Riots, was published June 1, 2022, by Abalone Mountain Press. Taté uses their 15+ years of experience working for daily newspapers, social justice organizations, and tribal education systems to organize students and professionals around issues of critical cultural competency, anti-racism/anti-bias, and inclusive community building.


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