The memorials gust in, as through an open doorway, or carried inside on a sleeve.  They collect on the windowsill, and drift in the corners, some landing sofly like ash on my eyelids.

20 years later, we say to each other, “I’m OK, How are you?”
But the lie scratches black in our throats, like a jet fuel tattoo.

20 years later, it’s Facebook melee- a battle that no one can win

It's the masks and the skins, facing off to the death; wailing ventilators minding the score.  We wag virtual fingers,  convinced of our virtue, while 659 thousand dead say nothing.  

20 years later, the Earth heats up.

The smoke rises thick in the West, bringing ironic relief from the white-hot summer sun.  We hoard furnace filters, and shelter in cool basements while hurricanes rip through the East. Oil barons feel victimized by windmills.

20 years later, kindness dies

“I can’t breathe!” neighbors cried, so we rose and allied, and thought justice was ours for the taking.  Then the Karens denied, and the streets came alive and the news cycle rang with reproach. Protesters were beaten, shot at, and sprayed- only proving the point they were making.  

If you live on those streets you're called "homeless deadbeats" as if it's a character flaw.  You are reviled and uprooted, your belongings are looted, while the onlookers cheer, "Never here!"

20 years later Democracy teeters.

Conspiracy sites flame political fights. Self-proclaimed patriots take the bait.  For the Patriarchy, they rise, and an officer dies, in a fight over a really Big Lie.   Women’s rights are revised, human dignitiy denied, and the snake oil flies from the shelves.  Voting rights clawed away, while the rich pay the way.  Trading us for their for personal gain.

20 years later I say to myself, “I’m OK if they’re OK.”

These are difficult times, and I want to provide a better life than I knew, but I can’t even give what I had-
I want my children to have a world with a future.

20 years later, we’re a country divided.

Brother v brother, neighbor v neighbor-  we're a country at war with ourselves.
This is just what the terrorists came for.