Tuesday, September 11

I was born on a Tuesday, like America’s dying.  It could have been a rebirth and maybe it will be one day, but for now the dying, the dying is taking a long time.

Human bodies hit the pavement, turning into fine red mist.  Human bodies burn up inside, turning into a fine white ash.  In the ash:  pulverized metal, concrete, glass, file cabinets, computers, pictures of the family propped up on your desk.  The clicking of keyboards, conversations by the water cooler, our illusion of safety—a fine white ash.  In the street, human bodies covered in human bodies.  Human bodies breathing in human bodies.  The fine white ash burrows into the inside flesh to wait out the years until it blooms into a cancer.

Below you the floor has turned into fire.  The sick black smoke sears your lungs.  You stumble towards the window.  The movement of air there is strange, that window was not made to ever be opened.  Shattered now, its jagged edges cut your hands.  No matter how far you lean out you cannot get enough air.  You look down and your heart stops.  Below you the gaping wound of the broken tower belches flame, smoke, fluttering papers, people.  Below you they are already falling.  Below you the street receives their bodies, obliterates their bodies before the eyes of the gasping crowd.  There are others up here with you but all of you are alone.  Beneath the roar of the building consuming itself you hear a helicopter.  It is not here for you.  It is only here to watch.  The miracle of your birth comes down to this final choice: burn or fly.

Ten seconds from the window to the pavement.  In those ten seconds a news photographer will snap uncounted pictures of you twisting and tumbling through the air.  One day your family might flip through his images looking for you.  One day your family might not bear to.  In the images you are so small against the enormity of what is behind you.  It is Tuesday and as long as I am alive you will fall forever.


worm s eye view photography of buildings

Photo by Nicolás Jaramillo on Pexels.com


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