Hold It All

Philosophy/Poetics/Politics

Month: March, 2009

I Was Dreaming about Your Future

for Megan Heeney

I was dreaming about your future:
Later twenties, Manhattan, Union Theological Seminary,
“What’s a nice Catholic senorita like you doing in a place like this?”
It’s back to the books,
But with an occasional downtown jaunt to the Catholic Worker,
You cultivate an affinity group with your cheerful animation,
Speaking Spanish to the chicas on the subways,
Standing on Malcolm X Boulevard and 110th Street and listening to Dylan’s koan-like wind,
Picking up trash on the sidewalks as a spiritual exercise,
Watering geraniums at your studio apartment,
Teaching your teachers about the limits of language,
A NYU undergrad wants to come uptown and make a two-minute “movie” about you
And you say with a giggle to Katie, “I don’t want to be dismissed so cinematically!”

So far from the Midwest
With our cornfields and stolidness and segregations,
You feel liberated, like you could leap over the Empire State Building
Some days,
Other days, lost in the carrels,
Like Dorothy at the end of her life (even though you’re still so young—une jeune femme en fleur)
You have elbows on the table, hands holding head of Botticelli Venus hair,
Weeping, sobbing, gasping for air
Half hour
Two hours
No studying today, simply
Soaked, spent, screwed

But then
(It’s a dream after all)
Like a bullet
You’re straight out of the frenzied focus of the library
Into the magnificent polluted spring air
Your eyes radiant, resurrected because
It came to you
It landed on you
It burrowed inside you
That precious, precarious image
That needs your noon-time and nocturnal nurturing
The image that suggests

How
To
End
The
War.

Megan Heeney Megan Heeney & Kristin Swanson

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Witnesses

1.

“The Peace Corps left today and my heart sank low. The danger is extreme and they were right to leave… Now I must assess my own position, because I am not up for suicide. Several times I have decided to leave El Salvador. I almost could, except for the children, the poor, bruised victims of this insanity. Who would care for them? Whose heart could be so staunch as to favor the reasonable thing in a sea of their tears and loneliness? Not mine, dear friend, not mine.”

–Jean Donovan, US lay missionary in El Salvador, raped and murdered by US-backed Salvadoran troops, 2 December 1980 Read the rest of this entry »