for Harry Mphanza

We have changed a great many of our colonial place names since independence, but we have kept the name of Livingstone out of a deep respect. —Siloka Mukuni, chief of the Leya People

  At the onset of my ingenious plan, the sun barely shone
            through the mist.
      I struggled with a name to identify the rushes
            of water pouring beside me.

Half of my tongue saying Mosi-oa-Tunya—
  “the smoke that thunders.” The other saying Victoria Falls.

      And here is my complex. To shred the palette
          of English lodged on my tongue. Its sheer civility.
                  Restraining all languages,

              I snuck past two olive-sheened
  security guards sleeping underneath the shade
          of banana leaves to find Livingstone’s bronze body,

to which I snickered: “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”