Meditation In Guanajuato, Mexico

Maryan Nagy Captan

In most of the world, dogsdon't have names. Some have a few. Here,in Guanajuato, the dogs come inevery shade of peach.If the sea wants you, it takes you.But the sea doesn't want, desireis a human trait.*I nearly drowned on Christmas Evein the Pacific. It was my fault. I swaminto the tide. I drankup the brine. I lost the seabedand turned our sunset swiminto something vulgar. This lifeis enchanted.*We took an empty highway throughthe Sierra Madre Occidental.The road was unfinished,blocked off, butwe did it anyway. We sharedthe highway with iguanas,cattle, no humans,and birds. I wonderedhow far we'd push itI didn't say, turn back, turn back.I wanted to see it to its end,but a tunnel stopped us,one we couldn't hold our breathslong enough to travel through.*On Christmas Eve, I heardthe voice of God. It was clearand loud and sounded likemy own voice when it venturesinto the outside worldand croaks a good morning, sunshine. But I don't worship anyoneor anything except the seaand the mountains and they willkill me eventually, and I will die willingly.That is my only prayer.In my notebook from that dayis written this: not every experienceis worth recording; I ammore cage than bird; reverence,I am writing with reverence.

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Maryan Nagy Captan is a poet, screenwriter, gardener, and birder living in Austin, TX. She is an alumnus of The Michener Center for Writers and the Disquiet International Literary Program.

Cover of Sixteen Rabbits

Austin, Texas

Sixteen Rabbits transports us through dream, memory, place and time, by opening portals that exist in the liminal space between two worlds. These meditative journeys spring from a deep nostalgia, and one of the most urgent expressions of longing in Captan’s work is that of the displaced, yearning for home. Through displacement, religious persecution, and trauma, these poems come shimmering forth ‘in full-bodied reverie’ seeking divine wisdom which echoes throughout Sixteen Rabbits like a summons–to see this moment, this place, this life–in all of its enchantment. As Captan writes: ‘reverence, / I am writing with reverence.’

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