Nine Eleven

Before nine in the morning the great city shines in the sun. Against blue skies, innocent flights arrive and leave. The cry of a desperate bird on its escape to the ocean gets lost in the noise of the big metropolis. Tall buildings, like dark sentinels of order and efficiency, open their doors to a dance of tapping of heels, fingers on computers, the music of coffee pots, smiles and secrets. Schools are getting ready for their morning rituals, colleges are filled with laughter, songs, books and kisses. Factories, stores, street vendors, poets, lovers, smog-poisoned insects, struggling bees: foreign threats will not get through this hard-working army. The world has seen here the finest example of democracy.

Only the master minds who planned it acknowledge the expected change in the path of airplanes, the sound of engines coming closer.

And then, an explosion. Pieces of the great building fall on the pavement like ancient dirt-covered tears.  Explosions. There are people covering their faces in horror before they are obliterated. Bodies obstruct the traffic of tanks and jeeps carrying fire-spitting dragons. Military buses open their jaws to the fingers on the computers, the dancing heels, the hands on the coffee pot, the students and poets, the lovers, insects and the terrified bees. The undercover secrets revealed in all their magnificent evil.

From the smoke and the flames, a great man is broadcasting his last words to the people that elected him to carry on the flag of their hopes.

In the far North of the world, a president closes the book on another successful coup d’état.

In the South of the continent, on nine eleven nineteen seventy three, the eternal snows of the Andes bleed red rivers over Chile.

Tucson, Arizona, September 2014

Photo: Sept. 11 is also the anniversary of the 1973 U.S.-backed military coup that overthrew the democratically elected Popular Unity government in Chile. President Salvador Allende died in the presidential palace during the coup. AP


María Rebeca Cartes
María Rebeca Cartes


María Rebeca Cartes is originally from Talca, Chile. She now lives and works in Tucson, Arizona.