The Sum of My Theology in a Brief Poem!

Ernesto and Fernando Cardenal are probably the two priests most formative in my conversion (you rarely hear me talk about them because nuns play a much bigger role in that story).  But somehow I never read this Roberto Bolaño poem on Ernesto until today!:

“Ernesto Cardenal and I”

By Roberto Bolaño

I was out walking, sweaty and with hair plastered
to my face
when I saw Ernesto Cardenal approaching
from the opposite direction
and by way of greeting I said:
Father, in the Kingdom of Heaven
that is communism,
is there a place for homosexuals?
Yes, he said.
And for impenitent masturbators?
For sex slaves?
For sex fools?
For sadomasochists, for whores, for those obsessed
with enemas,
for those who can’t take it anymore, those who really truly
can’t take it anymore?
And Cardenal said yes.
And I raised my eyes
and the clouds looked like
the pale pink smiles of cats
and the trees cross-stitched on the hill
(the hill we’ve got to climb)
shook their branches.
Savage trees, as if saying
some day, sooner rather than later, you’ll have to come
into my rubbery arms, into my scraggly arms,
into my cold arms. A botanical frigidity
that’ll stand your hair on end.
[Thanks for the English translation, http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poem/182381]
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About aaron

Catechist at Chaplains on the Harbor.
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