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Southbound

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There are one million
ginko trees in manhattan.
Weeping their leaves
on the slate sidewalks.

There are ten million pennies
in the fountains,
Washington Square,
Union Square.

Seven million panes of glass
in the Freedom Tower.

At least nine subway lines.
Red, blue, yellow,
orange?
Uptown and Queens,
the E train,
to the phantom
of the World Trade Center.
At all times.

This is what amputees feel like.

These are the phantom tremors
and pains, when you wake in a cold sweat.

These are your missing limbs.
We felt the shaking,
breathed the smoke to keep
it inside of us,
somewhere.
Shifting in our lungs.

The mundane,
the automaton speaks
to the suits sloshing
in the yellow seats,
"This is a southbound E-train.
Last stop at World Trade Center."

This is your missing leg,
a broken arm.
This is the nightmare
of amputation.



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