Abbey in America by Murray John A

Abbey in America by Murray John A

Author:Murray, John A.
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
Published: 2015-04-11T04:00:00+00:00

Chihuahuan Desert near Las Cruces, New Mexico (April 1997)

Then, there is the time a coatimundi, hair still wet from the creek, does the same thing. And the voices I hear—this some years back—and I break off my work, go out front and find twenty exhausted men sprawled under mesquites. They are thirsty, they are hungry. I tell them the Border Patrol checkpoint is maybe eight hundred yards up the dirt lane. They nod and shrug and laugh. I turn on the hose, they drink. I point to the cases of soup I keep outside in an alcove for the wayfarer. They help themselves. Then they melt back into the land. Their walk has thirty or forty miles more before they are safe from the agents and can pile into vans and ride the night highways into the heart of the heart of the heart of the country.

None of this is an answer but all of this is at least the question. I was told as a child about that fatal line between the quick and the dead, but now I think my mentors had it wrong. The agents up the road, the ones that glare and ask me if I am a citizen of the right place, they may be the dead. The men and women and children clawing through walls and hard ground and dying now and again on their journey, they may be the quick, like the bobcat at the door, the wet coati at the door, the poor and hungry and frightened face at the door. Maybe nobody gets out of here alive, but some at least get to live.

Robert Frost, yes, “something there is that doesn’t love a wall,” Molly Bloom, yes, “as a girl where I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes,” and Edward Abbey, yes, with his goddamn Charles Ives, his hard questions about people and human numbers and our fangs on the throat of the natural world and his cranky comments and his love of life itself. His spiked op-ed on immigration is not going to go away until we face his questions.

I would like to live long enough so that no one read Edward Abbey because we had ended our murderous ways, abandoned the dangerous gods of the military and of the industrial and corporate, left Wall Street as roadkill by a country lane, yes, yes, leave all


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