Cibola 71

Shiwanna (3) (cont’d)

–Maybe witches can play
with death as they do
because it’s not real to them,
murmurs one young woman,
who until then had been content to listen.

–But for us Ashiwi, this present life
must remain precious.
For only here
can we all live together:
only here can we share
the feast, hold dances,
entertain the spirits.
Afterwards, everyone follows a different road.

Murmurs of agreement:
–May it always be so!

–Or at least (comes
one mournful voice, presumably
a young man whose longing looks
have missed their mark)
until that day, as far
from now as we are here
from the Emergence,
when the world becomes

so old & dry & hard
that nothing can grow, either
on its own or with the help
of human prayers.

When all tools & weapons,
egged on by the witches, stage
a bloody revolt against their owners,
& everyone–eaters of raw food
& eaters of cooked food,
the People & the witches
& the Apacha alike,
everything burns up
in a yellow rain.

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