Cibola 53

Shiwanna (2) (cont’d)

Thump unthump the great
      &nbsp clay drum out of time
thump unthump however they stop
      &nbsp their breath or cover
eyes & ears & mouths they can’t
      &nbsp unthump miss
      &nbsp       &nbsp       &nbsp this
UNTHUMP the skipped heart-
beat UNTHUMP the unraveled
tapestry UNTHUMP shapeshifter’s hoop
the twisted spine UN-
THUMP.

The road unwinds clear
to the fontanel, open fist
someone’s sister has anointed
with yucca suds, bloom
unclenching once in
a hundred years. The gods
are forever unfinished.
Always at the Beginning
they are auguring themselves
from the waters above,
below . . .

But what about those dirty-
faced heroes?
They are acting
like the rawest of raw recruits.
They make a game of everything,
killing for sport. And on

the fourth day, from
their shrine beside the little lake
within the younger of the cones
inside the Salt, the hero twins
at last unriddle it: where the sorceress
hides her vital spark. A stone
among stones. On this lake-
within-a-lake, they see it
in a literal flash.

Now they are racing each other to the battle scene.

Now the elder brother hurls a rabbit stick & misses.

Now the younger gives it his best gambler’s cast.

Now he scores a hit.

As the stones spill from
the split gourd
the Chakwena topples, the wind
roaring from her chest.

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