Our lives were lived in London then,
2 boys at play on shades
in 4 bedrooms
that couldn’t bind us
In arms we sobbed
from 1 of our 2
3 seater sofas
in our 4 bedroomed house,
watching dreams disappearing
beneath the ashes of the Apple.
Eden had ended for the West.
No one knew who they were anymore,
the afternoon dawned into darkness,
arrogance had eaten the eagle’s feathers
and I only saw shadows in reflections
of myself in mirrors
that couldn’t capture the truth
of who I was or who
the 2 of us had become.
There was confusion, everywhere,
on all sides of the world, on all
the streets in shock, the television
a mirror to the madness
we couldn’t move from.
We were voyeurs to the violence
and already traumatized
by the thoughts of revenge
as Bush read books in the back row
of a preschool of potential
pacifiers or partisans.
And now, today…
We’d stood once, together,
years earlier, before the 2 sofas
and the 4 bedrooms
and the discontentment
and then this word called terror,
2 boys in awe
on the top of the world
with Broadway just a bellow below,
not realizing that life was but to Rent,
that No Day But Today meant this day,
not some day, somewhere.
It was now, here.
Jonathan never got to see his story,
hear his one song, his glory,
rising like Mimi from death.
A musical is but a muse on life,
plots are not planned in the spotlight.
A house is not always a home.
Towers cannot always support
the grayness that chokes between
dream and destiny.
We all have our stories,
our songs and our sorrows.
Love is love is love.
I dream I see the planes
fly over and not into,
we are there in London, still laughing,
still in the bedroom, still loving,
still on that rooftop, still standing
and all is still possible.
the towers in every territory
are rising from the ashes.
But we are no longer 2 boys
playing home in 4 bedrooms
in SE26, on September 11, 2001.
We have stopped counting
what we’ve lost, we have run out
of numbers and can never
go back to before.
All words by Damien B. Donnelly
We saw the musical Rent on Broadway, New York, at the Nederlander Theatre on June 24th 1999, Jonathan Larson, its writer and composer, died the morning his show opened for off-broadway previews. He received a posthumous Pulitzer prize for Drama and Tony awards for best musical, best book of a musical and best score. It is still running in cities all over the world today. We stood on top of the World Trade Center on the 23rd of June, at 2.20 in the afternoon. But we can never go back.