Life is a crook and though
you pour him drinks and fill his bed
with feathers and whores.
It’s the uneven face of the sky
it’s cloudy in Pompei as
fog sneezes over the city;
she bleeds rain there.
But our crops thirst and the squirrel’s nails blunt
From digging holes yearlong
here the sky is so clear and blue
to provoke the earth to dusty rage.
Somewhere, a man visits the rain-lord
another loops his only buba to hang his neck
if only he knew the Morrow would mate flood
those seasons your barns swelled and yams
you baptized in red, swirling oil
now you grumble for the rains
have taken her wares to another market.
You’ve turned your womb to a slaughterhouse
of tiny men for the mothering hour hasn’t come
somewhere a couple eats cocoyam alone
without the murmur of kids.
Life is the sound of rain
beating on my zinc roof
The rhythm is taut and noisy
Like giants marching
In between, Calm peeps through
the torrent of noise so the honks of geese
and the flutter of sparrows, we hear again.
Though he has gulped all your ale
he’s never too drunk to not walk in
straight, sane lines like a pious drunk
on his last trip to the monastery.