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.