All I wanted was love, really, and thought that was
what everyone wanted; what a fool I was, for love.
But really, that became security, and that attack,
that day I saw those towers—
we all saw them—go down in a white flurry
of hurricane dust in the city the world loves, neighborhoods
plumed in billows, we just watched and then brought home
our own dead. Next the neighbors all lost
their jobs, and we started taking all those pay cuts
and hoped our AC made it another season
and the roof another year. Love
is a kind of capital, as is eros, and some days I still believe
you can have your eros and eat it, too, but that Jersey rock star
opened the soup kitchen in town, and a friend said,
Why don’t we try it, you know, just because.
She’s out of work
and her architect spouse hasn’t had a new account in months,
and I know she’d like her family to have that meal.
Sometimes, I just want to touch people,
so I steal caresses—an arm, a sleeve.
I touch my screens, people all over the world
a text away; they keep me
from filling my pockets with old hard drives
and walking into the ocean.
When did we forget what we all wanted
and settle for what we got? I’m trying not to
go to sleep again. Instead, I’ll wake up in the tomorrow
of someone’s imagined future where they hoped their children
would have it easier and better, richer and more wonderful
than they had, better than anyone else ever had,
as if it is possible to protect anyone from anything at all.