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Kigali, Rwanda

I am thinking of
a thousand hills
and banana beer
and the fast moving
low resting
dawn breaking clouds
which must wake God
in the country where He sleeps.

and I have seen Him there
cupping black dirt in His hands
smoothing out the curves of each valley
and rounding off the crest of each hill
a thousand times over
like lumps in a pillow
or my mother's rising bread.

yes, I have seen Him there
cupping black dirt in His hands
smoothing out the curves
of each hip and shoulder
rounding off the tips
of each finger and toe
a million times over
slow and steady
like love and laughter
or the flicker of my father's youth.

and I don't suppose God slept
a moment in the spring of '94
when the rain all smelled like salt
and Kigali held its breath
like a baby in a basket.

and I have seen Him there
cupping black dirt in His hands
smoothing out the curves
of each tiny tomb
for the sparrows they cut
from the sky
too many times over,
swift
and sharp
like winter in the blood
or the flutter of a broken wing.

and every time I see Him now
He is braiding black feathers
and painting justice on the grass
where elephants fight
on trampled ground
at the foot of His bed
for tootsie rolls and peanuts.