Proclamation 1021: A Ghazal

“…even a Bodhisattva’s career is oriented within emptiness”

It was the summer after the fall, after the First Couple fled to Hawaii. We joined
the crowds lined up to see her museum of shoes: each pair embellished with emptiness.

We’d just come from a trip north to visit old churches. We gaped at such audacity—
their likenesses painted on a basilica wall: as angels ascending through the emptiness.

Who remembers those days, those nights, or the period called martial?
The soldier who raided the arsenal dined with us the week before he disappeared.

And countless others stormed a bridge, raised a banner, painted slogans,
took to the hills. They warned: the countryside is not a vast emptiness.

We housed the daughter of one of my father’s friends. One night, maybe two, as she
fled from agents of the state. Blacklists grew as our houses feigned emptiness.

Memory’s faulty, memory’s short. History’s long, or really, just repeats itself. The widow
and her son are back in power. The poor watch politicos squabble in the emptiness.

Who remembers those days, those nights? Rallies and explosions in the square, our poets
and intellectuals jailed. A people’s anthem of a captive bird, singing in the emptiness.


In response to miscellany (living hagiography 9.20.2012).

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