There was that crazy hour with one tower up one tower down. After that first collapse, one remained without its twin and you had the absurd thought that it would not fall. You hung on to the hope that it would not fall, that somehow if one stayed up it would be all right. That this was not the end of something.
But the lone building is on fire, inside it an exploded jet. Unfathomable heat from the fuel. There is so much paper swaying through the air like white leaves falling from a ghost tree. There are the trapped ones that decide to jump. A man and a woman holding hands for a dive ending in a thump you will never be able to unhear. The lone building is on fire and it groans to its foundations and History laughs, laughs, laughs and says, welcome America to this twenty first century.
Do you remember how neatly the tower telescoped? There was no wrenching halfway up the metal skeleton, no toppling of a broken giant. Instead it dissolved into that uncanny white ash. Imagine the beautiful engineering that allowed for such a perfect collapse. The smooth destruction written into the construction all those years ago.
America, America, you can only dream that you might collapse so gracefully.