The tale begins, when thunder palms the sky
& the lines of his palm become visible, white as the line

on debia’s right eye. My father do say if the lines descend
out of the sky, then a god has plummeted with wrath,
to blight a fellow. I nod to avoid questions of
understanding, because my mind, a puny dog, is still
growling in the vastness of conundrum.

But I shrivel out of that dress, when okonkwo was blighted
by thunder. His body, more soot than his skin.
That is, like yam, he roasts beyond life, & his body, unscrubbed –
as my father does with his yams from the fire –
sink into earth.

To call thunder is to call judgment, but, uncouthly, I ask my
grandfather if the gods of thunder can be appeased,
can be cooled with music. But he said, to cool the god of thunder
is like to carry a red coal with the palm
& toss it to cold water. To calm a fiery god, one might burn his life.

But in the parlance of souls, music is a gem key to
unlocking. Except that music needs a lust to carve it. If the
passion to cool the gods is lust, I will dance
in its orgasms.

Tonight, I watch the cloud morph to black. Perhaps
a sign. I wear black regalia, tuck an eagle feather to my hair.
If my black cloth can’t make me invisible, then let the
feather reveal I am above the clouds.

Rumblings. Cracks. Hiccups. Earth totters
like a man blown by waves of ebullience.
At the cave-mouth of my hut, I stand,
flute in my mouth, whistling a song often sung
to soothe a peeved legend. But the god keeps rolling stones
in the sky. The rains seize not. Perhaps there’s another
way to call the god of thunder to eulogies.









Photo by Max LaRochelle on Unsplash