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NYC Memorial This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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We visited the memorial in August
The day was far brighter than I thought it should have been
Considering the circumstances
And the tower under construction shone in the sunlight and
I wonder if I should have paid better attention and
Perhaps it was telling me in Morse code
To remember
And we looked into the fountains and
They were bottomless and I felt as though
My heart was falling into them
Up up up
Through my throat and
Down down down to where
Someone else's heart was left
Their literal one and their lover's figurative one
And I felt like I was taking their soul by the hand
But I didn't know what there was to say
And the names were inscribed upon the surface and
It was smooth and beautiful and cruel because
These names should have been out breathing not
Carved in heartless metal
And I ran my fingers over the names
They were just words to me but
I had to take a deep breath and step away when
After running my hand over the name of a woman
My fingers continued on over “and her unborn child”
And it was a Wednesday this year and my teachers
Didn't say a word about it but sometimes
There isn't a thing to say that won't fall heavily
I remember when we used to watch videos and read articles
Making it academic for children to understand and then
As we got older, the teachers telling us where they had been and
What they were doing and reminding us that
This was not just a section of the history book and frankly
It is not history
Maybe there is no better way to remember it than to
Remember it.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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