In a city foreign to me
you were my guide
as I emerged from a mind boggling mass transit maze
two towering beacons of comfort
shooting solidly into the Gotham skyline
my shining South Stars
navigating me around these city streets.
Then one severely clear Tuesday morning in September
when not a blemish touched the sky
I stared dumbstruck down Seventh Avenue
where hours earlier you were bathed in a sea of blue
now plumes of ominous smoke surrounded and erased you
leaving behind cinder covered remains
and a lingering smell of death that crept north
suspended over the city for days.
Eight million silenced
unsettling in a city that never sleeps
streets left desolate
except for the faces of the missing masses
wallpapering hospitals, churches, police precincts, and firehouses
a traumatic trail of tears
their images haunting
forever seared in my memory.
I wandered aimlessly
guided by the urgent call of sirens from fire trucks and ambulances
the only sound that filled the air
but my journey was cut short at Canal
yellow police tape and security posts erected there
rescue crews mounting mounds of rubble
your powerful façade disintegrated
except for a single steel beam rising out of the ashes.
Days and weeks passed
now, ten years have gone by
that bearded man was shot down in the Pakistan sand
and I am drawn to a new light in the sky
where I can stand in your footprints reflecting on you and say
you gave me courage to stay.