(Before California) 40°43'43.2"N, 73°59'06.2"W

Epicenter of Nearby Seismic Activity

Date Time Lat Lon Depth Mag

2001/09/11 09:59:04 40.711028 -74.013075 N/A 2.10

2001/09/11 10:28:31 40.712116 -74.013083 N/A 2.30

Olivia de Havilland met me in a dream shortly afterward. Watching events without context from the 8th story of a construction site with no outer walls on 1st Avenue and 10th Street, snapping photos with my Polaroid and handing them to construction workers before we knew what we were looking at.

I think about her. The perennial witness. The seer of horror and, only occasionally, its participant. Atlanta burns around her. She wails as bees massacre school children. She escapes the plane moments before it sinks back into the sea. Always keeping her poise around unimaginable terrors. In the days and years after, she has become Beatrice. Or maybe Kushner’s Angel of the Continental Principality of America (Fluor, Phosphor, Lumen, and Candle) crashing through my ceiling.

Find the helpers, Mr. Rodgers, said.

For months after, in the middle of the night, each time he hears the frequent sirens Dopplering down First Avenue (the wrong way), my husband gets up, rushes to the living room, turns on the news,

while I hear her speak again with those peculiar inflections--

Let me take care of you.

Photo:

East Village Manhattan, New York City, New York

September, 2001