Litany/2 (¡Presente!)

by Mark Chmiel

The following was near the end in the original version of The Book of Mev.

Ignacio Ellacuría, engaged intellectual, credible witness,
Fearless announcer of God’s Kingdom . . .
¡Presente!

Ordinary eco-friendly folk, hallowers of this land,
These waters, all this air. . .
¡Presente!

Nhat Hanh, you are breathing, I am smiling . . .
¡Presente!

Ann Manganaro, gentle healer in El Salvador,
Sagacious leader, spiritual elder. . .
¡Presente!

Sebastiao Salgado, some of the blind now see thanks to you . . .
¡Presente!

Homeless men, women, and children of the Americas,
From Chiapas to downtown Saint Louis to Rio,
Grand Central Station to Telegraph Avenue . . .
¡Presente!

Ivone Gebara, the Vatican ought to be silenced awhile . . .
¡Presente!

Aspiring, poets, scribes, chroniclers, essayists,
Trans-genred writers. . .
¡Presente!

Dan Berrigan, embodiment of the resurrection:
Six times down, seven times up . . .
¡Presente!

Unabashed talkers, dialectical questioners,
nimble conversationalists, chatter-orgiasts. . .
¡Presente!

Giovani Falcone, may justice be done . . .
¡Presente!

Noam Chomsky, irreplaceable iconoclast . . .
¡Presente!

Visionary activists and shit-disturbing demonstrators,
Interferers with empire . . .
¡Presente!

Teka Childress, Jesus would sit at your feet . . .
¡Presente!

Adjunct professors who can barely pay their bills,
much less buy the books their soul needs for sustenance. . .
¡Presente!

Chico Mendes, defiant unionist and holy ecologist . . .
¡Presente!

Tireless & spritely campus ministers, all denominations. . .
¡Presente!

Roy Bourgeois, “new name same shame” so close down the SOA. . .
¡Presente!

Friends for the long haul, prophetic incarnations,
razzmatazz rememberers,
¡Presente!

Carlos Belo, may we speak as boldly as you . . .
¡Presente!

Judaic advocates of tikkun olam &
great refusers of bitterness and cynicism. . .
¡Presente!

Sheri Hostetler, poet and preacher, sister of beatitude
who explored Cambridge and Berkeley streets with me . . .
¡Presente!

Closeted gay, lesbian, bi & transgendered Christas and Christs. . .
¡Presente!

Undergraduate students, with verve for all-night reading
for the pleasure of losing and finding oneself. . .
¡Presente!

Allen Ginsberg, gregarious galvanizer,
I miss you in Moloch . . .
¡Presente!

Mothers & fathers the nurturers of the next generation
of mechaiahs and photographers and translators
among tongues and tribes. . .
¡Presente!

Penny Lernoux and all journalists who go to the edge,
who report with a biased and broken heart . . .
¡Presente!

Janey Prejean, you were right, it took years …
¡Presente!

Visitation nuns, wise teachers of teens . . .
¡Presente!

Elie Wiesel, remember and live, remember or die. . .
¡Presente!

Young feminists, mavens of mischief and articulators of outrage. . .
¡Presente!

Jean-Bertrand Aristide, whose vision of Haiti and the world
is one where the children are counted . . .
¡Presente!

Graduate students in theology on faith’s edge of the abyss of doubt. . .
¡Presente!

Marc Ellis, who had the idea to honor Gustavo in 1988
at Maryknoll where I met a 5’2” Sicilian scorcher . . .
¡Presente!

Inconsolable parents who have lost a child through accident, disease,
hunger, war. . .
¡Presente!

Steve Kelly, dissident and compañero of Yeshua. . .
¡Presente!

Joanie French, healer, jester, beloved . . .
¡Presente!

Ignacio Ellacuría, 1989 by Gervasio Sánchez

–thanks to Jenn Reyes Lay for reminding me of this…

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