Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I want to tell them

NEW YORK—The World Trade Center, 1988.
© Josef Koudelka / Magnum Photos

I come into the World Trade Center PATH station, as I do every day now on my way home, and from the train these days the rows of rebar and steel beams make the place look like a grave site, a ditch of bones. Then up the long escalator and the stairs to Church Street and a mob of police, protesters, tourists, and people like me walking fast to get home. Signs about war. National Guard in green fatigues with serious guns. People with camcorders and mics recording in languages I don't speak. The day puts me in my head. I want to tell them what happened here on this day before they were born, tell them why it happened and that it's okay to feel covered by thick sadness, to care for those we don't know. I want them to be small, to fit in my hand, so that I can shield them from falling things. I want them never to smell acres of burning plastic, to run from dust. I want them never to wonder where someone is while really knowing. I want to tell them that wisdom wins in the end and want to believe it. I want to tell them that war ends (and want to believe it). The fountains are on in front of 7 World Trade Center; traffic knots. So glossy and glass, 7 World Trade becomes the sky when you look up into it. (Intentional?) I want to tell them that bodies are soft, held together by something ancient and loose. Up the elevator in the skyscraper where I live; down the long hall. I want to tell them.

Inside they are painting, and it's quiet; they are into their work.

I want to tell them but don't want them to know.

1 comment:

Nadine said...

Beautiful post! I gave up not crying over your words.