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WTC 9/11
by Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz

Lucky Kim, my roommate, is sleeping
next to me after 13 hours
of solid television coverage.

She is the only person I have seen,
waking me up in the morning, asking:
"What are your plans for today,
because two planes just crashed
into the World Trade Center."

Lucky Kim, who works
at the World Financial Center,
stayed home today and got the news
between her morning run and cracking
open her books for study.

Together, we watched the news
and she points out her building
attached to the towers
by gory amputated bridges,
windows shattered, metal buckled.

And for hours,
we call her friends, coworkers:
Busy signals, no answers.

I run out for juice and donuts
and after that, we eat, drink
and lean into each other,
in front of the tv.

We only have one channel now,
all the rest went down with the towers.
And the computers and telephones join the tv
in a parade of whirling ineffectiveness:

What's happening? What's happening?

Heads hungry for information,
we dumbly watch the plane bank
again and again into deadly blossom,
listen to the survivors, watch
the dust people run from the rumble,
our hands on the phone, waiting,
waiting.

We watch.

All of lower Manhattan
all of New York City,
consumed in this cloud:
dirt, paper, plaster, people.

©2001, Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz


Cristin is slammaster and host of the Urbana Poetry Series in New York City. She served as our New York correspondent for the About Poetry Museletter & has authored several previous feature articles here: Poetry Down Under, The Wild Party On the Stage, Extreme Poetry in the North Woods & 60 Minutes: The Poets Slam Back!.

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