Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Why September 11?

09/11/1683, Vienna

How long the Muslim memory must be,
to recall so intensely the Turks and Tartars
fleeing like girls from the Hussar’s heavy
cavalry, in the Siege of Vienna. The stars
have shifted in their spheres. The zodiac
become a string of satellites and King Jan,
a figure in a painting on a wall. Attack
and keep this in your heart, all loss gone
beyond a dozen generations, yet still fresh
in the fratricidal hearts of Atta and the boys,
now charred to ash in old New York. Flesh
seared off and evanesced, like the sad joys
of patriots singing drunken songs in a tongue
no one cares to learn. How long must they
remember, the Sultan’s loss, the sadness sung,
a piper's gross ghazals for which we all must pay.

# # #