Marc wears a pink neckerchief.
He’s walking his Basset Hound Billy
along Ninth Avenue.
In 1968 Marc entered Iowa’s MFA program but
left to join Students for Democratic Society.
He’d attended one class taught by Richard
Yates. Then he quit.
If asked, Marc will describe the thrills
of those years. He traveled a lot –
Berkeley, Madison, Mexico.
Once, hitchhiking through Guatemala, he
ate fresh tortillas y friijoles
with the man who picked him up.
The guy kept steaming bowls in the backseat.
Somehow beans got baked into
bread. When another car appeared, this man
would pull to the edge of a mountain road.
The oncoming car would pause and
both drivers discussed local vegetable markets
(their vehicles almost touching on the narrow
path). That custom pleased Marc.
More tortillas were brought out. After
a while the man dropped Marc beside two
reed houses – just two small Mayan
homes on his left, with dense forest on the right.
Marc saw nobody. Birds darted; dusk
spread. Strange insects clicked. He knew night
would fall, that day would come,
but that was all he knew.
* Based on a spontaneous sidewalk dialogue following the $700,000,000,000 bank bailout of 2008. Marc’s hope for nationwide resistance – some return to SDS’s early days – prompted these youthful memories. Three years later I saw him and Billy cross the Brooklyn Bridge during an OWS solidarity march. I tried to get Marc’s attention, but the human sea was too vocal, too thick. This poem is dedicated to him.