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Belonging to All the World
A Poem by Andrew X. Pham

audio Listen to Pham's poem.

Oct. 17, 2001 --

I have a vision of you once again holding up our sky.
In this I can see you, lost husbands and wives coming home again, sons, daughters, friends and lovers reuniting somewhere beyond time, as if this memorial is only a weigh station, a beacon from where you're waiting, watching over us.

For I do not want time to take you from me the way it washes away pain.
For I do not ever want to forget that you existed for me.
All the sweetness of you.
For I cannot hold back these tides.

So I harbor a dream that the twins will be reborn in glass, two monolith of pure light.
Without walls or floors, only transparent elevators rising up their steely spines, and those precious stairs climbing their ribs, their hollow cores, into the clouds.
And I shall walk down those thousand steps that kept you away from me, those stairways that took you to the farther shores.

And I suspended in air shall think of your courage and your beauty as the Earth tilts.
The radiating streets, the gleaming buildings, the bridges, the rivers all spinning away from me.

As you have, I shall behold the roaming cities, the distant ocean, the blur seam of the sky.
I shall stand proudly beside your names, floating in the space where you have been, where I can summon your images, your voices, your smiles.
I shall see you glorious in sunlight. I shall find you wreathed in fog, moonbeams in your bones, through your skin.

I shall like to see sunset shimmer playfully on your faces, all saying that our loves, our lives, our dreams can never be wholly stolen from us.
When night falls, our towers shall stand like bright brothers in the darkness, guiding us, uniting us.
And you, our dear ones, now belong not only to us, but also to all the world.

Andrew X. Pham is the author of "Catfish and Mandala: A Two Wheeled Voyage Through the Landscape and Memory of Vietnam."