Originally published in the September 2012 issue of Empirical
New York City materials
Scraps of street have been
hanging up there in my room.
I’ve had no gambling problem,
but I have collected nearly 3,000 lottos
from the trash outside of delis.
Some had bad luck,
most had no luck.
Others won and threw them out
in scratched-up desperation,
an ordinary crushing tragedy,
massive quantity with an abject feeling that they
had their chance and lost
the game called
And I hold one in my hands,
and I feel the one behind it
who played with hope
while sitting on the nine train
underneath the World Trade Center
twenty minutes before the first plane hit.
And I feel the earth quake,
feel so many people
of that building.
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