seven months after i, shell-pink lump of amniotic fluid first
wailed between my mother's legs, the world
cocked its double-barrel rifle and
shot itself in the face.
just like that, nyc crumbled to its knees; news copters circling steel carnage, foaming mouths of destitute vultures. the anchors with trembling mouths, barely able to choke out, "the second tower's been hit." the screaming. the falling. the sobbing phone calls to 911 call centers.
"say your prayers ma'am."
"i'm... gonna die, aren't i?"
"...you have to live..."
"tell my children i love them."
nine months of mangled archaeology, stained in congealed, rotting blood. the world trade center disappeared.
in its place, the memorials, the church choirs. the president's address, the stern seal, the brown podiums.
the grief. the stark white horror gripping at throats. the ceaseless funerals.
a new america, ashen and bare.
a new america, a new america.
twenty four months after i, shell-pink lump of amniotic fluid
wailed between my mother's legs, the crackdown cracked
skulls wide open on the side-walk,
terrorist beards, terrorist fabric
"muz-lims" muz limbs, limbs of immigration, american passports and
the accusatory stares in frigid airports, ghosts of crimes
to happen, ghosts of a country reeling with fear.
oh what a fear, so corrosive, so contagious
guantánamo bay and the men dragged by their beards
children crying as their neighbors egged their windows.
confessions under duress, enemy of the state, a choice to die a thousand times
over this, this
waterboarding, mouth-pissing, dog chewing, a humiliation
so scrutinized, so calculated. how does one learn to sleep
amidst the hooding and the company of one's feces?
how powerful, human body, human nudity, how grotesque, human nature.
a deserved punishment.
a wave, so enduring, so treacherous, so anarchist
it swept the twin peaks
i cannot imagine the horror americans felt after 9/11. that day, each and every person had a story attached to those buildings. the aftermath, perhaps, added more to the trauma, the victims broad-casted in agony, the reminders at every turn of the corner, every headline.
this was difficult to write. accounts of horrific attacks against muslims still bring me to tears. i do not wish to take away from the pain of the citizens after 9/11. however, i cannot write about the constant fear that muslims lived in, without bringing up why. it was a situation where everybody lost.
this is not meant to offend anybody. it is just a recount of stories from distant families overseas, and how i feel about 9/11. humanity lost so much that day. most of all, itself.