Buffalo Bill opens a pawn shop on the reservation ...
right across the border from the liquor store
and he stays open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
and the Indians come running in with jewelry
television sets, a VCR, a full-length beaded buckskin
it took Inez Muse 12 years to finish. Buffalo Bill
takes everything the Indians have to offer, keeps it
all catalogued and filed in a storage room. The Indians
pawn their hands, saving the thumbs for last, they pawn
their skeletons, falling endlessly from the skin
and when the last Indian has pawned everything
but his heart, Buffalo Bill takes that for twenty bucks
closes up the pawn shop
paints a new sign over the old
calls his venture THE MUSEUM OF NATIVE AMERICAN CULTUREScharges the Indians five bucks a head to enter.
~ ~ Sherman Alexie