It happens this way …
Here, a Holding On
for New York City
October 1, 2001
Twenty days of barricades
and twos and threes pause
on Chambers Street –
business suits, backpacks, hoodies,
uniforms in every shape.
No one pontificates
over vacant desks and pews,
tear-wet beds, fire stations gone,
bone fragments searching for home.
Here, they’re awed.
Tower shadows fled.
The first time in thirty years
Village streets and living rooms,
store fronts with their sidewalk signs,
responders struggling with ash
bathe in sun. They bathe in the sun.
Here, light takes hold
and I, a stranger from 3,000 miles west,
grab a subway strap,
head to an uptown hotel
to write this down.
August 7, 2017
Here, breaking news:
DNA defines one more loss.
(Male. Unnamed. Per family request.)
Eleven hundred twelve gathered
in dusty dark, sharing thoughts
they thought as shadows dissolved.
Comparing notes on deals signed,
dinners served, dreams deferred
for the practicalities of work,
little words unsaid.
Here, holding on –
each to each –
until they’re freed from this room
where they’ve agreed
on the coarsest truth:
closure is a myth.