Albany Poetry 
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Old Glory

Michael Kutzin

The Towers

(In Memory of the Victims of 9/11)

Who knew?
Did a reader, pulling the Tower card,
sense the enormity of her prescience?
Did her hands shake as the card,
turned face up, showed the sign of
calamity, chaos and terror,
with fire and bodies spilling from
the mighty tower of man?
Did she see, that early Tuesday morn,
that the fate of the tower would be double?

The Towers,
twin conceptions,
died that morning.
Killed by men who thought
their ticket to Heaven
could be purchased
by making the Towers
instant Hell.

The sky was blue and clear.
No clue Death's Angel was near.
Silver birds made missiles,
disemboweling the Towers
with jet fuel
turned to

Cell phones and e-mail,
ubiquitous tech,
used by souls
soon to be torn from their flesh
to say their final goodbyes.

The Towers' spines melted
from the unworldly heat --
falling -
a return to the landfill
that was their womb.

Dragons of
concrete made brimstone
charged at the knights.
Armed with hoses, not swords,
and equipment, not armor,
their valor alone could not save them.
The Angels cried for help,
but St. George could not be found
as the twin beasts devoured their prey.

Wreckage lay where the Towers stood.
A smell, putrid-sweet, hovers, along with
five thousand souls
who have no where to go
until Heaven is ready to take them.

What makes a site sacred?
A holy man's prayers?
Or must there be spillage of blood?
Neither's required, nor does either suffice
It's the hearts of the people,
united in goodness
that reflect an immanent God.

And so it has been, since
silver birds made missiles
spewed death in lower Manhattan.
Spontaneous goodness
from all sorts of people
have made the site sacred to me.

So the Towers returned to their landfill,
crashing back to their womb
a vision tattooed to my mind.
The Towers were ugly,
yet I miss them so much
and the people I miss
even more.

October, 2001