Written after reading Ishi by Theodora Kroeber (8 December 1990 - 6 January 1991) after Edwin Markham
He looks toward the camera without smiling before a world that has murdered his people. He stands barefoot in a shirt and frayed tunic open at the neck, his collarbones shining, his dark skin drawn taut across his cheekbones. He has hung leather thongs through his ear lobes. He has burnt his hair short. His eyes are clear, but we can’t see in them his Yana name— no one who knows it is left alive. No one can see in his eyes the world where he might have lived before the white men, learning in his place with his people the skills with which a man may gain respect among the canyons below Mount Lassen, among creeks and scrub brush, salmon and deer, utterly destroyed, utterly alone. His arms hang loosely at his sides, his fine hands curve in, away from us. His eyebrows are raised as if to see us as carefully as we see him, surrounded by whiteness that represents the light.