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Poetry

All My Sons

Derek JG Williams

The car stopped.
Drawing the keys from the ignition
The engine ticked
Like lead from a student’s
Pencil
Tapping on a desk. 
He closed his
Eyes and began to pray.

How young was his trust, how
Innocent his killer-heart
Honed like a blade
Against stone,
Scraping out a name
For God
That he could not stop speaking.

The first
Car bomb detonated in 1920.
Across the street
From the J.P. Morgan building,
A horse-drawn wagon laden
With dynamite
Rained dust and glass over the undone
Bodies of Wall Street.

Young Muslim men
Have been
Disappearing from their families.
No one knows where
They have gone until it’s too late.
Even now FBI agents
Lean over security monitors
At local airports.

Transfixed with watching twenty
Different scenes
In twenty different places—
Inhabiting none
Of them completely.

The damage done to the
J.P. Morgan Building was
Mostly repaired.
Visit it today.
Run your hands over
Its pockmarked limestone.
Try and reach
For what is missing,

The names history has devoured.
The victims, the bombers—
Remnant walls still standing.
Wreckage.
They do not know
How to describe your faith.

A devastated sky mourns
Nothing, it just burns.
The mutilated body
Of the first
American suicide bomber
Was flown home by the US military.

There were no
Flowers at his funeral.
No stone marks his grave. 
He died
With those he killed—
Child of flame, brother to each.
He died
With fire in his hair.

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