Tornadoes populate my dreams
like blue moons.
Silk-stocking cyclones in Depression-era Kansas
make personal appearances,
force-five twisters, God’s middle finger.
They steal the lipstick-red Corvette
I drove off the lot ten minutes earlier
and keep it. They hold doors closed,
destroy my home, its window glass transfigured
into hail, cave in old and fragile rooftops
while I cower belowstairs
with my grandfather, dead for years.
Babylonian Pazuzu is the wind,
no Exorcist demon but warder-off of sickness.
Listen: Pa-zu-zu. The sound of wind.
In Santeria the wind is Oya,
orisha of the cemeteries,
goddess of air and thunderbolts.
Even disbelievers are children
of violence. I think she is my mother.
Her power spiraled, stealing
my poems in anger, in lieu
of blood offerings. I do not sacrifice
to her and she makes clear
the price in dreams, in films,
raging at me in every storm.