Cibola 70

Shiwanna (3) (cont’d)

–It can be anyone, a member
of any priestly order.
Live long enough, they say, &
you’ll see the most upright elder
whom no one would ever suspect
become suddenly unbalanced
with hatred, try & take a life . . .

–Sometimes the very one
whose unaccountable luck threatens
to split the People with envy
is himself a witch. Even
a member of the clan of witches
that some say still survives,
still meets in secret.
Whose founder appeared at the Emergence,
so the storytellers recount . . .

–But that First Witch, they say–that thing
helped civilize us, back when
we still had tails & webbed toes,
webbed fingers, extra sets of genitals
on top of our heads . . .

–It gave us yellow corn
with one hand
& death with the other, taught
the trick of turning grain
into food, food into life,
life into other life, presto!

–Crossing back & forth
between beast & human . . .

–The chasm that divides
those holy persons
who devour their food raw
from those who need to cook it
like the refined creatures we have
now become.

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