by Warren Mortimer, edited by Rebecca Parkinson
I’ll tell you where I was on 9/11:
washed-up on the Great South Bay.
The ocean phlegmed back
famished wisps of tobacco,
like tarred seaweed.
The tin was absent
from my denim pocket.
Much later, I saw the towers faint,
bowing at the knees,
revived by television screens.
from my stomach,
I lamented the loss
of my keys and wallet.
This place of yours, it resonates
with the New York suite
of childhood. A cityscape
of precedents: pre-teen, pre-terror.
I’d deride my mother’s name,
then wish her dead
for absolving me of cigarettes.
I turn to Kavanagh’s Epic;
To the fall of man,
from a sundered office in the heavens;
To the molars scattered on the concrete
like beads from an opal bracelet;
To the slug-trail of nerves
salivating from a cageless brain;
To the portrait viewed too often,
to allow revulsion.