Friday, September 11, 2009

Absence

The smoke has cleared,
the dust settled.
Tears long dried,
nightmares subsided.

The city din--frenetic, fierce, familiar--
has returned, an annoyance and a comfort in one.

Tattered paper photos, taped with panic and haste
on every open space,
removed, discarded, or tucked away with regret
and anger for lives unfinished.

Crossing the Triboro at rush hour,
snaking slowly toward the skyline stained crimson by a sun
reluctant to cede the day,
there is still a gaping hole, 110 stories high,
silent and wide.

An absence of glass and steel
that reached defiantly skyward.

Broken hearts, inexplicably--incompletely--mended by time
and the distance it creates.

A taxi trip down 6th Avenue
in the glittering Manhattan dusk is a stunning announcement
of what was
but now isn't.

Heroes made
and lost.
Stories forever untold.

In passing, some look up,
some look down,
some look straight ahead.

Gotham endures, thrives,
intrepid in the face of so much violence,
so many ghosts.

Each loss, personal, unbearable.
The collective loss, immeasurable.

At the heart of the city of excess and abundance,
a void remains. And millions understand the word:


without.




Photo by Marc Morelli