Cibola 99

Shiwanna/Esteban (conclusion)

If they allow me to live
beyond tonight,
what will I become?
Will they let me marry in,
join the priesthood?

Even if they kill me,
they’ll still press me
into service, won’t they?
String my scalp from a pole
for the women to see.
With these black locks
I could unseat
their gods of thunder . . .

A disembodied view of the back
of his own head. The red gambler–
a young man, almost a child,
with the ugliest face imaginable–
snatches it by the hair
& hurls it skyward,
a meteor in reverse.

The gambler glows–
all colors now–& is joined
by what could be his twin:
a pair of flames
cavorting among the viscera.
(Will the Heavenly Father find
this scent to his taste?)

Through the thick black smoke
he watches his dismembered parts
melt down,
each blow of the hammer
releasing sparks
with erratic flight paths,
on butterfly wings:
yellow, blue, scarlet, white,
iridescent, black–

Let the ocean redeem
your inadequate alphabets–

What’s that?
I thought . . . Just a sparrow
awoken by my pacing.
Poor thing, forced to flutter
through the dark in search
of a better roost.
With all the owls about
he’d better be quick . . .

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

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