Sixteen Years & September 11

Stuart called to tell me the first plane hit when I had just risen with the startling sound of it flying low over my

Manhattan bed. I was buried in covers, content for the last time.

We were still on the phone when plane 2 blasted into the twin &

We knew what it meant.

No accident of navigation. It was a missile of hatred — full of our beloved.

We prayed for the city.

Then I ran to work on that antithetically beautiful day. I ran towards The Towers thinking I must show up for my duty — whatever that may be.

We all showed up. Our dogs were heroes. At every turn,

New Yorkers abating chaos, showed up with their own ragged agápē love & a miraculous organization of wit & unity &

It made me fall in love with each person in my city, every cop, every firefighter, every nurse & emergency responder. And yes, New Jersey became our best friend.

I passed an art store. The manager handed me a mask. It filtered the debris & for a while the dust of precious bones & stone & steel stopped choking me.

Many walked passed, covered in that dust — wearing underneath it uniforms of the free market. No longer so free.

Heads were lowered in sorrow, we tried to find a way home & loved ones lost.

Phones rang with “Are you safe?” across seas & continents. Thank you to each who called. I wrote the Queen.

Fires raged for three months. Black plumes replaced our Twin Towers compass.

We walked around without knowing where we were.

We didn’t laugh. We hid our tears behind dark glasses.

For many years, each beautiful fall day reminded us of that one.

 

© 2017 Anna Mosby Coleman

Deep Calls to Deep

A coral reef
You are too beautiful to contain my breath.

I will expire
Trying to breathe this water of life

Ocean manifest for gods and angels.
The pilot whale swims an orphan

In joyous company. Oh my Chelonia,
You surface for air and sun. With my finger near

Your heart and ear, shivering fin brushes my arm
I am shaking with neuronic lightening,

Again you are there, and I cannot breathe
When I feel you touch the cays so fast and full

Bleeding, and you rise trembling from your seat
To heaven’s throne, not a place on earth may you rest.

Too beautiful to hold me or thee,
We will die from holy fire.

As all your breakers wash over me.
As deep calls to deep.

 

© Anna Mosby Coleman

Zoology note: Chelonia mydas is the latin name for the green sea turtle.