Vivian Faith Prescott
She is not a myth but a dark imagining. She is a dull murmur in the trees where the wind is praying its sorrowful primal story. But how does this story begin—with either the windswept tundra, or here on this bridge hovering over Sitka’s harbor. Beyond, there is no snowpack on the mountains this year. They say the world is melting. She knows how it feels to melt. She walks across the bridge to the coffee shop below. She stirs the black sky in her coffee. Her ancestors once stirred starlight. She opens up her laptop and searches for her anthropological self, her ancestral self, her historical self, her assimilated self. Skridfinn, Saami, Sámi, North Sámi, South Sámi, Mountain Sámi, Sea Sámi. Sometimes she is two seconds away from her people. Or 3,458 miles. Whichever is easier. Whichever fits into this global revolving hyper text markup language spin. Sitka, Alaska to Gáivuotna-Kåfjord, Norway: No Routes Found. Except she is a charged particle like the spirits in the aurora—she uses Google Earth. She is ever-present but appears and disappears, high altitude atomic oxygen colliding, turning red. She wonders how many grandmothers and aunties and cousins you can search for, back-and-forth in time, before the shoe bands of your world weaken. And below a woman stands alone, chanting in the morning’s depthsymmetry, sliding in and out of pitch, tightening her throat, her notes leaping up and down.