Unforgettable


Unforgettable


I remember
   I could never forget 8:46,
   The first strike—
   The collective gasp from across the room
   Raising the volume from mute to muffled.
I remember
   I could never forget 9:03,
   North Tower—
   The awestruck mouths agape, soundless,
   Drowned out by chattering images.
I remember
   I could never forget 9:37,
   Pentagon—
   A noiseless banner across tv screens
   Tears flowing from every single eye.

9:59, 10:07, 10:28
   South Tower, Flight 93, North Tower.
   Jumpers chasing rubble down,
   Heroes fighting bravely mid-air,
   Responders running into Armageddon

I remember
   I could never forget 911,
   America—
   That day, when we were all New Yorkers,
   All Americans, united martyrs defiant.

I remember
            Tomorrow too,
   I could never forget 910
   America—
            Yesterday too,
I could never forget 912.

I don’t remember
   I forget the increments since then, when we
   Patriots—
   In the moments since that morning,
   Hardened our best natures, squared round:

When we proved them right in our
Nearly imperceptible-in-the-moments
Transformation—ex uno plures:
   When resolve became stubbornness,
   When bravery became carelessness,
   When righteous anger became hatred,
   When intelligence became conspiracy,
   When hugs became pointing fingers,
   When trust became complacency,
   When passion became hysteria,
   When action became reaction,
   When liberty became security,
   When we became them.

I remember—
I’ve seen it—
When yesterday’s us
Becomes tomorrow’s us again:
Perfect in our sanctimonious bliss,
   Carefree and unchallenged,
            Content and postured,
            Incremental and steady,
            Patriots and protectors,
                        Of our memory:
                        Of our time:
                        Of our world.


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