Sunday, May 28, 2006
Rivi Songa has never met her father. She lives in Brooklyn Heights. He lives somewhere in Oceania. Since childhood she’d only heard stories about him: he was a coconut clergyman then a vanilla bean bandit then a swimming banana god. When she was old enough, Rivi journeyed to the Pacific Islands to search for him. Her search was distracted when she visited the King of Tonga. The King said Rivi could never leave the island unless she performed Slam Poetry at his feet for three days. On the first day Rivi made up a rhyme about coconut milk flooding the mean streets of Brooklyn. On the second day she made up a rhyme about the borough hall bitches who sat around teasing their papaya salad hair-dos. On the third day she was rhyming about the Coney Island hula cats when a white-bearded man walked in, sat at the right side of the King himself, and whispered in the King’s ear. The King leaned over then straightened up and thought for a while until he addressed Rivi saying, “Ms. Songa, your father has just given his blessing. I am urged to beg your hand in marriage.” Rivi looked at the bearded man and blinked. At the bat of her lashes, the old man’s beard turned into a wandering albatross that flew clean off her father’s face. “Papa!” She said and ran to embrace him.