Dancing Barefoot in Atlanta

For Juan Méndez, UN Special Envoy for the Prevention of Genocide

Tonight, for many reasons, I think
of my friend from Buenos Aires
who survived such horrific torture
that even now after all these years
I cannot write about it,
although he told me everything.

I remember his lost shoes
at a crowded party
where we danced for hours
only with each other.

I think of his soft scarred hands,
his voice quietly speaking into my ear,
his small body holding onto me.

And though we never fell in love
and he was old enough to be my father
when I think about my life’s
most extraordinary moments
I am dancing, barefoot
in Atlanta, Georgia,
in the arms of the bravest man
I will ever know.
And he is laughing.

−From Despite Gravity, © 2007 by Marjory Heath Wentworth

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