day the towers

came tumbling down

betty ong picks up the airfone

cockpit not answering

someone’s been stabbed

we’re getting hijacked

while george bush reads aloud

girl got a pet goat

she likes to go running

with her pet goat

sujo john bounds down 81 flights of stairs

the south tower collapses

he’s buried alive

but somehow survives

in the lobby lauren manning

catches on fire

when the elevator explodes

she runs shrieking outside

random brave man rips off his jacket

smothers her flames

we never learn his name

and yes 25 skin grafts minus-four-fingers later

lauren’s just fine

staircase blown asunder

fire captain jonas gropes in the dark

surfing down chunks of steel discovers daylight

turns around goes right back in

denise rabinowitz escorts her frail 75-year-old dad

takes the last elevator from the 90th floor

they walk home uneventfully

nicole simpson

decides not to get on the elevator

with her assistants at morgan stanley

floor 73

she lives on they all gone

10 guilty years later she dreams safely again

lucky ronny francesco he’s one-of-only-four

above the 91st floor

who tells tales to his grandkids

hazel gamal

seeks to escape billowing toxic grey asbestos clouds

the cacoffiny of howling sirens

unholy den of discombobulation

he ducks into a battery tunnel toll booth

somehow hears his wedding ring drop

somehow finds it

in ankle high dust and guess what

still married

from nearby studio window

willy dubois witnesses all

second plane lumbers into second tower

fireball fills up sky

mammoth flames pour out gaping hole

then silence

air fills with papers

buy/sell orders personnel reports memos

to the boards of directors

and sadly yes

70 who work on floor 106

windows on the world

a restaurant whose name

the new york times claims

was not lightly chosen

plus 100 who show up that wretchedly sad

tuesday morning

for breakfast

all die but chef michael lomanaco

he’s at the farmers’ market buying vegetables

i do fondly recall his lobes of foie gras in sauternes

burnished ducks and butter-braised lobsters

the abundantly long list of napa chardonnays

thinking as i look down at toy taxis

i really should come here

more often

i could be one of those despairing patrons

hanging out the windows waving linen tablecloths

at passing helicopters

streets tightly packed below

people not knowing what to do

some look up

police dispatcher says ominously

bodies dropping like flies from the upper floors

and so they are

i suspect leaping beats searing pain

anonymous man

calmly embraces gravity’s ecclesiastic suction

drops head first

arms side-by-side

left leg bent at the knee

ever so casually

like a 150-miles-an-hour arrow

his final thrill

captured on film for the world to see

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