from the archives – letter to Walt Whitman

Dear Walt:

I seem to recall we met,​ ​in the future, in the past, or in a dream –
maybe in engine room lower level,
repairing a valve or calibrating a gauge
on an obscure hydraulic line;
or maybe on the bridge,
transiting the Strait of Gibraltar,
or the Strait of Bonifacio,
or the Strait of Messina;
or maybe having a smoke on the fantail
while the ship rounds the Cape of Good Hope,
or the Cape Horn, or Ras Kasar.

The physical place is less important
than the metaphysical space we share:
lonely, tired, perplexed, distressed,
missing loved ones –
lonely, tired, perplexed, distressed,
surrounded by loved ones –
seeking refuge from war’s alarm,
whether fighting on distant battlefields,
or negotiating in hostile boardrooms,
far or near, seeking refuge from war
and the rumors of war, seeking peace.

We share the womb of America –
twin biracial souls within the same mother,
bouncing around in an aqueous environment.
Scandalized, scapegoated and heart-broken,
we forge forward together on this mystic trek,
guided by an unseen star in the Northern sky,
inspired by love, and hope, and steadfast faith.

April 17, 2013

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