In the dump the two-story house
sliced in half lay on its crushed
bay windows, so it rained sideways
into every room. To get there
I ran across then highway, then,
chased by two German Shepherds,
through the old Indian School,
said to be haunted by a girl
who killed her white teacher then herself.
But someone always arrived
before me, the staircase
ripped from the house,
standing upright in the bed
of a burnt-out pickup. A mannequin
with a woman’s head and a black
man’s body was set crawling
up the canyon wall, eyes in the air
as if watching the private planes.
Years later I drove the dirt
frontage road. The school was razed,
mounds of mud like pregnant bellies.
One of the dogs was there, but,
old and arthritic, he let me
scratch his nose. The other —
I found him inside the truck,
curled up as if asleep
but dead, his body decomposed
from the neck up,
so most was still covered in fur,
and the skull was clean,
cold and heavy in my hand.