The Photographer as Witness

Jim Harney, dying

We wait in the hours
where breath takes its time.
A piano somewhere,
the beloved hands on the keys.

Angels wait, too, whoever they are,
maybe women in Izalco foothills,
carrying babies and pupusas, looking
for you and clever enough
to avoid borders and la migra.

Who of us can witness the body in pain,
the world as it is, hidden amongst the terrified?

You just could never manage it—comfort, I mean.
Your camera a third eye, weeping ,
watching the faces of mothers, children.
Cacarica, Colombia; Iraq; Carasque, El Salvador.
What you saw torched the road back.

You carried what you could. When you couldn’t,
they carried you. That is how you left us.

Renny Golden

Precious Divinity
Amnesty — Application