Sean Rima: A Poem For 9/11/2018.



A letter to my 33-year-old self on 9/11/2018.

You will get fat.
Your beard will turn gray.
You will move to Texas.
You will love it there.

You will get divorced at 43,
but you will fall in love and
marry a feisty Spaniard at 46,
and not only will she change
your life forever, but
she will also teach
you how to
properly fold
a tortilla, and
you will learn
from her

will grow into a
beautiful young lady, and
your heart will swell with pride
as she becomes the person you
always wanted to be, although
it will also break your heart
like a cracked snow globe
every single time
she has to say

You will
know patience and
courage and cowardice
in a hospital room, and
the cowardice will
be your own.

You will
continue to
drink too much
and smoke too much, and
no matter how many times
you are warned and even if
I warn you now, you won’t
listen, because you are
still one stubborn
son of a

Your friends
will come and go, some
because of circumstance,
some because they are sick
of you, some because
you asked them to
leave, and some
will go dying
on you
when you
least expect
them to, although
your very best friends
will be there, sitting
around a table in
a Mexican
when you
turn 50.

You will have money
and no money, bills and
no bills, jobs and no job,
but when the hard times
fall upon you and they
will, you will survive,
and be stronger
for the lesson
of it.

You will
live in three apartments
and six houses, drive seven
different cars, sign one
mortgage, and
join an

You will write four novels
and hundreds of poems, and
dudes who are friends with Bob
Dylan will admire and respect
your work, although some
folks will continue to
think it’s a waste
of time, but
you won’t

You will
mourn the loss of those
who have inspired you, as
Hunter Thompson sends a bullet
through his brain, Robin Williams
hangs himself with a belt, and
Chris, Scott, Phillip, and
Prince lose their
battles with

You will
watch the America
you are living in today change
in very strange ways, as the
flag you are weeping over
now will become, for some,
a symbol of hatred
and oppression,
and this will
fill you

You will
marvel at the election
of the first black president,
although you will be called
a racist for disagreeing
with his policies,
and for this
you will
someday proudly
cast a vote for, well…

You wouldn’t
believe me if I told you.

You will
observe with shame
as heroes are scorned while
mediocre dullards are called
brave for selling sneakers, and
it will turn your stomach as
the stupid and the vain
claim today never

You will
shake your head
as people who are
babies and toddlers today
take to the streets for a safe
space to pee, while demanding
Free Speech Zones on campus.

You will be
horrified as Shakespeare,
Mark Twain, Jack London,
John Steinbeck, George
Orwell, and Dr. Seuss
are banned in

You will
mindlessly stare at
your phone, a lot, as everyone
else is doing the same damn
thing, while falling into
manholes and
their cars.

You will
wonder if America
can survive such unremarkable
madness, and I wish I could
assure you of something, but
to warn you of anything
would change your
choices, and
that would
kill us
both, so

suffice it to say

You will get fat.
Your beard will turn gray.
You will move to Texas.
You will love it there.

And for the next seventeen years,
you will cry a bit every September
as you relive George Walker Bush

standing on the rubble, and

saying, “I can hear you—“

just like God
will whisper in your heart
on the worst of days to
come, so fear not,
young man,
fear not.

We turned out okay

in the end.



Copyright 2018 by Sean Rima.



Rev. Sean’s Notebook: No collusion, no obstruction. Rev. Sean’s Notebook: On Faith and Fire. Rev. Sean’s Notebook: Sundays on the Porch. Sean Rima: Brand New Poems, Hot Off The Griddle! Sean Rima: On Chicken Sandwiches and Gay People. Sean Rima: Jussie and the Judge.