Chemical Weapons
My September 11th
Chemical Weapons
By Heather McCuen /

I remember
Not a single picture
But I remember 
Moving through that human smoke
That reeked of melted steel and burning flesh

I remember working
So hard and so long and so dirty
That I don’t know how my legs or lungs kept moving
But I couldn’t stop
I didn’t know how
All I knew was that I was moving forward
And forward was the only way
that I could stand to go

I remember

The world was broken
The sky had fallen
Everything was upside down and smelled like steely flesh
And all that I could do was move
To carry boots or water bottles
Or anything I could carry
To help
To feed that parasitic sense of purpose
That gnawed at my heart
And promised me I mattered
In the face of that hateful crater
That told me
I didn’t

I remember

All of that
It's here with me now
And I wonder
I wonder often how far we have fallen since then
In the name of justice
Or revenge
Or security
So many flavors
For this poison

Remember when they told us
That if we couldn’t go on
Then the terrorists had won
You must remember
Such big words
But maybe
Not big enough

Because now here I sit
Years later with those days
And those old ghosts still banging in my head
That unbearable smell still in my nose
That texture of someone’s ashes on my clothes
And against everything I believed back then
Before I hit rock bottom falling off my high horse
When the world turned into something that felt much more
Like pain and shame and rage

Here I sit

And I can’t help but think that maybe
Maybe they won after all

So much death
Years and years of death
Firing into the darkness
The terrible no good darkness
Where all of our enemies must live

And maybe
Maybe they won after all

Because our walls got higher
And our laws got tighter
And we set the goddamn world on fire
But nothing got safer
And everything’s colder
And God knows none of us got closure

Our blood lust can’t be satisfied
Hot on my tongue this taste of pride
I swallow each time that we lie
That we feel something when they die
So many
So different
They must be different
And the ease with which we hate
Pulls me back to that fucking day
When something worse than all that death escaped

Because I know now
That Ground Zero
Is not just that place
Not fences, guards or wire gates
Plastered with faces of missing
Though we knew they weren’t missing at all

Ground Zero’s the symptom of a larger disease
That we caught in the ashes of 3000 dreams
And we spread it like pox thinking that makes us free
While we rot from this weapon
that we still don’t see.

How can we not see
Our own hell
Every year lived in fear
We become what we hated

This cannot continue
This sickness of state
For every new bomb a Ground Zero awaits
And each new Ground Zero more death and more hate
And each new Ground Zero points back to that date
To the morning my beautiful city was raped
And something much worse than all that death escaped


0.0 ·
What's Next
Trending Today
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 16,859 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
Noam Chomsky Has 'Never Seen Anything Like This'
Chris Hedges · 11,738 views today · Noam Chomsky is America’s greatest intellectual. His massive body of work, which includes nearly 100 books, has for decades deflated and exposed the lies of the power elite...
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 3,642 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
What Makes Call-Out Culture So Toxic
Asam Ahmad · 1,893 views today · Call-out culture refers to the tendency among progressives, radicals, activists, and community organizers to publicly name instances or patterns of oppressive behaviour and...
Donald Trump Is the Mirror and Hillary Clinton Is the Mask
Chris Agnos · 1,515 views today · Disclaimer: I do not support Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton for president. I think the scope of the political debate is far too narrow for the kinds of actions that need to...
HyperNormalisation (2016)
161 min · 1,232 views today · We live in a time of great uncertainty and confusion. Events keep happening that seem inexplicable and out of control. Donald Trump, Brexit, the War in Syria, the endless...
How Big Banks Launder Money and Get Away With It
9 min · 1,222 views today · 'I wrote about how money laundering was actually done... they spiked it.' Parliamentary Candidate David Malone was a popular second choice in the UK Green Party leadership...
10 Quotes From an Oglala Lakota Chief That Will Make You Question Everything About Our Society
Wisdom Pills · 826 views today · Luther Standing Bear was an Oglala Lakota Sioux Chief who, among a few rare others such as Charles Eastman, Black Elk and Gertrude Bonnin occupied the rift between the way of...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 812 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Mark Corske's Engines of Domination (2014)
60 min · 764 views today · Political power -- armed central authority, with states and war -- is it part of human nature? Is it necessary for human communities? Or is it a tool that ruling elites use to...
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 761 views today · Sometimes photographs deceive. Take this one, for example. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 meters at the...
Why I Didn't Vote Trump or Hillary
Joe Brewer · 704 views today ·   This is my ballot. It arrived in the mail where I live in Washington state — and I’ve already sent it back to the elections committee. Note how I didn’t vote for either...
Schooling the World (2010)
66 min · 646 views today · If you wanted to change an ancient culture in a generation, how would you do it? You would change the way it educates its children. The U.S. Government knew this in the 19th...
Donald and Hobbes Is Genius
Various · 488 views today · Some clever folk have been replacing precocious 6-year-old Calvin, from the Calvin and Hobbes comic strips, with Donald Trump and the results are, well, take a look...
The Top 100 Documentaries We Can Use to Change the World
Films For Action · 415 views today · A more beautiful, just and sustainable world is possible. Take this library and use it to inspire global change!
Gil Scott-Heron Deconstructs Colonialism and Black History in His Own Unique Style
3 min · 413 views today · His-Story: I was wondering about our yesterdays, and starting searching through the rubble and to say the very least, somebody went to a hell of a lot of trouble to make sure...
Planet Earth II Could Be Best Nature Doc Ever Made
3 min · 392 views today · 10 years ago Planet Earth changed our view of the world. Now we take you closer than ever before. This is life in all its wonder. This is Planet Earth II. A decade ago, the...
Anarchists - What We Stand For
unknown · 303 views today · Anarchism : The word “anarchy” comes from Greek and means “no rulers”. As a political philosophy, anarchism is based on the idea that organization does not require rulers—that...
Are You Lost in the World Like Me?
3 min · 291 views today · Animated film by Steve Cutts for 'Are You Lost In The World Like Me?', taken from These Systems Are Failing- the debut album from Moby & The Void Pacific Choir. 
For Those Who Don't Want to Vote for the Lesser of Two Evils
Peter White · 272 views today · Ranked-choice voting is catching on, and Maine might become the first state to help citizens vote for candidates they actually want.
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
Chemical Weapons