Remains

My son wakes up

And calls out to me.

His voice is a wave that

Passes through the wall

That separates us.

A hollow cavity.

And I say coming.

Touch my husband. His

Shoulder. Say going. And

He is rolling over. Asleep.

And away from me. And

I find my son sitting up.

Asking me about the planes.

Two planes. What

Happened to them

After. After

They hit the two towers.

And I say well. Use the

Words slam and pierce or skin.

How I tell him that the nose

Of a plane can slam

Into a tower. Pierce

Through. Through

The skin of it. And

I am saying then.

How then it all crashed down.

Or how three years ago

A piece of one of the planes

Was found. Found between

Two buildings. Twelve years

Later and stuck.

Twelve years my son says

Because that is how long he

Has been alive.

Laying back down. His eyes.

Heavy. Saying good.

How it is good it was found.

But my son is talking about planes.

How he is not thinking about people.

All the people. These human remains.

And he does not know.

Cannot imagine.

How so much of what

Was lost on 9/11 was

Never found. Or how

Almost half.

Half of the people who died

That day

Are still missing. Or how

almost all of the people who

Were found were found

In parts.

A tooth. A hip bone.

Ring finger. A set of

Arms. Knee cap or

How so much of what remains

Is genetic material. Pulverized

Bone.

This I tell myself.

My hand moving

Across the plane

Of my son’s forehead.

As if

My fingers are a wing.

How this is what the word remains means.

How all the people. The dead

And the missing and the parts.

How they are still there.

But how. Still there does not mean not gone.

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