The Rains Begin in Western Kenya

The Rains Begin in Western Kenya

All through the dry
season, I swallow
my tears. I don’t sleep,

eat without tasting,
wander the house without
seeing my children.

Across the Atlantic,
my mother has died.
Tunes from the Requiem

of Mozart sing, day
and night, in my brain.
On the morning the air

tastes different, a wind
rustles, ignites scarlet
blossoms on the flame tree

as if to burn the branches.
to ash. Giant toads
appear like stones, stick

out their tongues at the sky.
Night. Thunder. Waterfall
of rain. From the lake,

flying ants rise into
the sky over marshes,
villages, drop into

the mouths of toads, dogs,
children, fill everything
that is empty.

First published in Little Patuxent Review in its Winter 2022 issue.