At 22, in the company of so great a cloud of witnesses

The father gets custody; the guard is not fired. 

Two levels of amazement: at these things, and that it shocks me at all. Still young enough to be almost speechless at such amazing and everyday injustice! Well, we sigh about how jaded we are, but that's the giveaway. Because, to feel jaded? There's no such thing. It's a very precise catch-22.

Just like with feeling desensitized. I grew up
in San Francisco, and when I was little,
seeing panhandlers made me cry with empathy
and sorrow. When I was somewhat bigger, I was sad
instead about the fact that their suffering no longer
saddened me. Then I just stopped being sad.
Between caring and not-caring, there's
caring-that-you-no-longer-care. But if you're not
back-pedaling from there, you're moving forward:
we may make it to actually jaded.

So don't be speechless. Finding words will matter. Listen:

At such amazing (language the flesh
dressing the bones of a common
frame of reference, and language the bones
also young
enough to know I
can use this word because
this amazement as well will be shared,
not by everyone, but by some
of us) injustice...

Remember, there is this word amaze and this other one injustice, which tell us we could not do anything to make ourselves alone in seeing and knowing the referents. There exist these words, and we could not exist apart from everyone else who has said them (is saying them), or from the fact that we are all trusting these words, these bones, like the earth that we walk on.

In your youngness

do not be cynical;
do not be lonely.

We are not the only ones talking about
injustice, feardoubt or any of the things
that are filling your skull —

The words themselves are proof of
the passage of so many others


almostclever 11/26/2011 6:05 PM  

My God this is beautiful.

11/26/2011 7:52 PM  

^ what she said.

Holly 11/26/2011 8:23 PM  

Sarah and Fé - Thank you, so much. Sarah, I'm glad you made it here.

Erin 11/26/2011 9:08 PM  


sui 11/27/2011 7:52 PM  

ahhhhhhhhh those last few lines = kill me.

can't wait to see your future poetry anthologies blow up the world.

Holly 11/27/2011 11:08 PM  

sui - Uff. Gosh. Thank you so much. And for that faith, because me writing any book at all can feel so's silly, I know, I should just self-publish SOMETHING to surmount that...

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