Ghost Dance


Over the rubble of the World Trade Center
The grand sad unimaginable confusion of souls
Rose from towers mangled steel—to afterlives all—
All eyes drawn to that vacuum in the sky's next move
Where the ghost dance of bodhisattva firemen
& holy martyrs of terror—holy martyrs lost &
Missing, a great far reaching cry spreading wild
Across the planet—the crying unity of undying pain—

All the dead circling above ambulance drivers &
From afar in Manhattan's canyon looking up through
Smoke—janitors, multi-millionaires, passengers
Belted in their missileseats, stewardess with tender hands
Tied behind her back—no more bills, no lives to return to,
No Korans & Bibles, no quotes of stocks to comfort them.

Bloodplanes break the silence of clouds—strangely
Lonesome—as we, the living, pierce ourselves with the
Hooks of memory, digging without rest, digging night
& day, throwing ourselves into the holes of grief in
Search of ourselves changed forever—looking up,
Seeing nothing, in disbelief looking up again.



13 September 2001



[Published in Quien Sabe Mountain: Poems 1998-2004.
© 2004 by Jim Cohn]






Quien Sabe Mountain