The  challenge this morning,
waking with coffee,
if one can be so fortunate
to wake with the pacamara bean
native to Salvador,
is not to take one side
or the other,
but to take the side
of those who have
no side. The challenge
in every morning.
Challenge is a horrible, horrible,
horror-harrowed word in itself.

Machine-gunned book
doesn't need a text, but in others
at museum of martyrs
I've been trying to use
layered light, and reflections
to create an off-balance viewing
because I'm off-balance.
Cell phone camera
exaggerates reality.
But how does one exaggerate this,
I ask, even as I find myself
inside glass, wearing the pants of Ignacio Ellacuria?
Try his work. 
Or, try the letters of Jon Sobrino
to his dear friend Ellacuria.

The cross
on the cassock
is a reflection of light,
seis triangulos de luz
created from mirrors.

Looking into martyred
glass, I know
that everyone died,
their lives surround us.

My country’s bullets ‘tis of thee

Track lights lighting images
under glass point in different directions
turned into photographs themselves.
Neutral eyes, no, not neutral,
not sentient, not from here.

The alba and estola of Monseñor Romero on a wired mannequin
blurred and blood-soaked robes of the night that will never end
and the white undershorts of a priest under glass.
In a museum, no less.
Here is the palimpsest that unravels me—
reflection from glass in front of me
reveals the mirror behind me
two pairs of pants, a robe, bullet-ridden shirt,
colleagues on the other side of the glass
photographs where a pants pocket might be,
my hand and the camera
coming in from side right
walking away from all the listeners
beneath a cross under glass that might
be seeing around corners.

How this diagonal band of light
from the rose garden
where the bodies were laid
found itself crossing this book
I will never know, but sky, blossom, leaf,
shimmer fixed on the page
over psalm and gospel.

Bullets under glass
Masacre de El Mozote,
10 diciembre de 1981
also with rusted cartridge cases
and burned-out wooden cross.

Any photograph of Rutilio Grande

anytime, anywhere, point to who’s calling me

eyes and fingers in the painting
of the dead Romero
going every whichway
including closed
Muerte y resurección de Monseñor Romero
Pintura de Benjamín Caña

More photos of Rutilio
than anyone else
reflects my bias

That’s me beneath the cross
owning my own whatever you want to call it
in whose martyred clothes
oh my God, here’s a pair of pants
hanging from a wire
with photographs for pockets
and three books where a belt should be!

Unlabled, and after-all the times
I’ve seen it waking in dreams
I’m going to call it a burned-out painting
heat created by mass murderers
funded by my country
call this a rant
I still see a human eye
under the bubbled-canvas
cut-out below where an eye might be
and I see human flesh beneath it
can’t be accounted for
get yourself another guide
if you want to, if you can
don’t believe everything you hear
go back to sleep if you can

When I look again,
photographs go all the way to the knee.
And there’s that chair again
empty but for the draped stole.

Jim Bodeen


People making small talk
on way to work site.
I never learned how,
feel my own emptiness.
I listen, watch.
Sometimes ask a question.

I love this drive
to the work site.
A man hangs out the bus,
standing on steps,
waving, bus door
wide open,
his arms out,
His bus in the fast line.
His driver’s
pushing it,
wants to make
a lane change.

Our bus
isn’t in much
of a hurry,
neither am I.

Jim Bodeen
22 January 2015

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