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Scoop Poem: The Bones of September, 2001

EDITORS NOTE: Submitted by a reader...

The Bones of Sepember: New York, 2001

Two vast and trunkless legs of steel
Like silent Pharaohs stood over Wall Street
Scraping the vast canvas of immortality

How many died erecting those towers:
Welders of iron, exoskeletal beams?
How many died as they came down?

Manhattan is missing its two front teeth
Can you help me find them?

World Trade Center burned and then collapsed.
Dozens leapt from upper floors -- Beat, you wings!
Just another few breaths! -- What were their thoughts

On that long morning's fall? Millions of fingers --
Fingers of Flesh, fingers of Memory -- endlessly sift
and sift again that ancient dust

Manhattan is missing its two front teeth
Can you help me find them?

Now, only a torn, disfigured pedestal remains
and on it these words appear:

"My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.*

Autumn, impervious,
Perhaps mocking our imperial pretense, whips her hips,
Swirls her bluest skirt, and casts the bones of September

Like I-Ching sticks against Horizon
Throwing sunsets
To die for.

- Mitchel Cohen
Red Balloon Poetry Conspiracy, and
Brooklyn Greens / Green Party USA

*Stanza recycled from Percy Bysshe Shelley, "Ozymandias", 1817.

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