Wednesday, September 11, 2013

day the towers come tumbling down

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
--David Bunnell

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