two days at the end of summer

two days of watching things fall,
the organizing markers in the substrate of my memory:
one was blue sky bright and clear, a fine day,
the first tips of autumn in the air,
the pines before our house were calm and unknowing.
the television billowed with the smoke and time stopped.
an exchange of horror with the postman, I remember,
the day lapse into stunned silence, collapsing
towers on an endless loop, bodies falling. we
could almost smell the smoke and breathe the dust.
everything tasted acrid, our false innocence
expiring under the towers’ broken beams.

the other was not blue sky and bright except in the central
moment as the eye passed over. it was looked for,
but we were not prepared, we did not yet know what
true power looked like, what it meant for everything to stop.
the pines moved in slow splintering rhythm with the skies,
twisting and cracking and bleeding into the driving rain
first the television went,
then the phones,
finally, the radio fell silent, the great tower on the ridge south
crumpled, the cables snapped. silence descended.
trees and towers falling, bodies swallowed up in the waters.
in the heat and decay afterward great insect swarms
moved upon the face of the riven earth, and
the sky was blue and clear and merciless.

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