Wednesday, December 25, 2002

Will Warren on 9/11: Malignity

From Unremitting Verse

On that day we awoke to malignity,
The ferocious intent to do us harm,
That day of rage and sorrow, of smoke and alarm,
Of souls lost in the fires of iniquity.
We felt the familiar world distort,
As when one sees his pathology report:

Examination reveals a profusion
of poorly differentiated cells
that compose an abnormal mass, which swells
against nearby structures. Intrusion
into adjacent structures is found;
the margin of the mass shows infiltration
of the surrounding tissues. Aberration
of function is pronounced. Necrosis around
the primary site and other nearby
tissues is seen. Evidence of metastatic
spread to distant locations is emphatic.
Indicated aggressiveness is high,
as the cells’ primitive form is apparent.
Diagnosis: neoplasm, malignant.

Yet what we have is not a cancer that kills
By insensate grasp, but one that thrills
In its spread, that rejoices in its sign:
Not malignancy, but malignity.
Its hosts feed and water it like a treasured tree,
In love with malice, rapturous for the malign.

Why do they hate us so? some still ask.
Is this so hard? Don't psychology
And Occam’s razor agree with history?
Because they are haters. They love to bask
In falsehood's glow. They regard the others
As Others, not as ones who might be brothers.

On that day we awoke, and this we know:
The man of malice poses the greatest threat.
If his way be clear, our doom, and his, are met.
Our best will block his way, and each will go
As a surgeon, not exchanging eye for eye:
Excising malignity, dispatching the lie.

--Will Warren