Intro to Day 3 of the Attack:
On September 11, 2001, we watched helplessly as Manahatta exploded, went ablaze, and collapsed. We watched helplessly as an important and close part of our community raced to their deaths to save those who were not so well trained, those who perhaps had not embraced Manahatta for all it could be embraced for.
We sat for two more days, trying to locate our beloved bomberos, the firemen (fire monkeys, as we affectionately call them) who were such a part of our lives. City dwelling bomberos have a penchant for jungle-gymming around in mountaintop forests while on vacation.
As the last of the living bodies was pulled from the ashes, we checked lists, and did not see our brothers' names among the living or dead.
On the evening of Day 3, we decided to do as our ancestors had done, and begin funeral rites for our fallen and missing. The inner council met, and held temescal. When we exited, the clear skies which seemed to be feeding the fires and endless smoke had clouded, and it was raining. Something it hadn't done for quite a while, but which was badly needed. In the next few days that followed the rain, we located our living and injured, and tended to them. Among the sizzling, smoldering embers, we counted our dead, and sang for them, bringing them into our lives through their transformation as ancestors and heroes.
This piece came to Arthur in a vision as we left Temescal that 3rd night, and discovered it was raining.
Day three of the attack; before the rain.
The pyre of the battery fire department still smolders. Their ashes must not be sodden or mired until they burn white.
This last immolation of Indios rushing like storm winds to rescue their Euro refugees has spread a cloud in the dream sky of Manahatta where Americans and Americanos breathe.
These Carribean fireboat harbor pirates; these five alarm fire dancers were here, dancing through fires, when sailing Dutchmen and seafaring Englanders gaped in fear and wonderment.
“Refugees from your soggy dilemmas, will you dance in the fire and embrace our worlds or are you better suited to some sodden besotted refuge you can embrace?”
“Wrap your tails around the fire if you can. We cheer any good try.”
Taino sea pirates seeded these camps from before the count of years. As these fireboat EMS angels danced again and again in the embers of the white road, they were leaders of Manahatta’s Taino youth struggling on their red road. Now all who tread Manahatta breathe their cloud and hail them.
Now the rain.