I’ve reprinted this poem on 9.11 for a couple of years now. It never feels like something I have to do, but rather something I must – an ethic of necessity.Ask me if I remember any of their far-away names, those swallowed by that black September day. I will say no, but I do remember hers. She shook at the office door to say ‘Something’s happened.’ We stepped to a room where screens
broadcast O beautiful’s scourge.
We stood quiet as image after image eroded our shores of amber grain.
We strained against distance but our bodies never touched; ours was the more perfect union of loss.
She searched my eyes for purchase but certainty had crumbled into the sea shining with smoke and doubt. Ask me if I remember any of their far-away names, those raptured into spacious skies that September day.
I will say no, but I do remember her,
as I remember me, cast ready-or-not
further east of the garden.
I remember Ellen.