In Paradisum

Whether it was Xerxes’ chariots or Milton’s angels,
They both fell that day into a chasm of trumpets and street
At eight forty six, gourmet pizza (fresh),
citizens saved by the institutional quality of their cuisine.
So I walked into this empty quarter,
reached its highest point and felt a sense of the gods.
In this dream, I was joined by all the Presidents and
who had built enormous fortresses high up,
blind to the earth as I fell down into them-
an ordinary man from Pennsylvania up for a visit.
(Still the traffic moves and we shall rebuild in competition.)
Until the furious moment, it had been a case of Know/The/
a sidelong glance at old liberty
(as watcher at daybreak with Charlemagne, his horn about to
rush men and women to their doom in the passes
of flame and forget-me-nots).
But the meeting we attended that day was awkward,
Not borne of love but anger-
even some of the phrasing that Gettysburg addressed-
its words moving with great speed across a sky lit in italics
and its punctuation sudden, the force of one ton in shapes
afterwards of cloud versus shadow versus uninterrupted
Outside Trinity in darkness, I already heard pipes playing
not to relieve us but to honour the Union.
Basically we walked out of the blitz into a time
which was approximately or exactly twenty nine after ten,
thinking of home or adherence to a clear desk policy or
whether our disaster recovery program clicked.
After, our directors (Wall Street’s) sat quietly
in a hall reserved for the dispossessed, conceding first
that July’s board had not said enough. You see we were
covered in the dust of our friends leaving us with no hope:
making a temporary monument for them (and us).
These temples I wrote of earlier
(where winds and waves remember to obey the fallen)
now silenced as trucks crashed into the subway
we had named our last defence and all the eyes of America
could not devour in one sitting the sight of so many In

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