As American alchemy transforms
Third-world sweat and blood
into their Starbucks and McDonald’s,
and builds empires upon the debris
of war-torn nations,
buying bread with bullets,
so the 9/11s of Chile, Egypt and the Jews of Nazi Germany*
get erased along with the fall of the Berlin Wall,
To make way for the 3000 dead in New York
on an azure September morning.
All lives are not equal.
The World’s 9/11 is America’s November 9.
Yesterday, America waved into the
world’s gobsmacked visage
a racist, misogynistic, hate-spewing Trump card:
That too was a 9/11.
Yesterday, we had a 9/11 that crashed the
economy, converting coveted notes into
paper and nothing more.** As banks and ATMs shut down,
as if in mourning, and social media brimmed
with Trump-struck woe,
I felt for a moment the world shared in my grief—
A humongous pathetic fallacy—
My own 9/11 that splintered my days
into before and after, hijacked my life and
flew it into the skyscrapers of
Ceaseless Avarice, to burst into flames,
To hurtle down sans grace,
And to splutter in the ashes, facedown in muted sorrow:
Tragedy must be a class act, or spectators get bored;
No listeners for a broken piano, so you better soar.
A wannabe phoenix, this was my 9/11.
**On 9th November 2016, 500 and 1000 rupee notes were demonetized in India, leading to widespread panic among the common man and bringing the economy to a stand-still
*Refers to the US-backed overthrow of the democratically elected Chilean President Salvador Allende on September 11, 1973 and the bloody dictatorship that followed; the signing of the Camp David Accords that signalled Egyptian and Arab humiliation on September 11, 1979; and the Kristallnacht pogrom by Nazis upon German Jews on 9 November 1938.