During the evacuation I walked up
the thirty-six floors in a darkness
so utter the world no longer existed.
Voices, slammed firedoors,
above and below, fear, the smell of burning fuel.
Then, in the dusty air of my savagely bright apartment I hovered over the body I'd lived in.
Fire-glass particles sparkled on the school roof
and the dazzle of charred steelwork
was a kind of blindness.
Triage stations, refrigerator lockers
Rescuers and stunned residents under the dusty trees
remembered they were dust.
There is a blister on my mind.
I agree to that.
Moment as the plane, four blocks away,
turned, angling inand I knew
they would be dead but I would live.
And so it is.
Time, a membrane
we both slipped through, into the next
moment when I could scream.
Personality swallowed itself to a nerve:
above the pit, the river
a gorgeous frame
for abundant new morning light.
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