It was, I recall, a cloudless morning in Chicago, as it was in New York. I had a hearing scheduled in federal court, but then, after the second plane hit, court was cancelled. We sat in front of the television, unable to turn away.
William Basinski (1958-), “Disintegration Loop 1.1,” 2001
Photograph from September 11
by Wislawa Szymborska (1923-2012, MCOTD Hall of Fame), translated from the Polish by Clare Cavanagh and Stanislaw Baranczak
They jumped from the burning floors—
one, two, a few more,
The photograph halted them in life,
and now keeps them
above the earth toward the earth.
Each is still complete,
with a particular face
and blood well hidden.
There’s enough time
for hair to come loose,
for keys and coins
to fall from pockets.
They’re still within the air’s reach,
within the compass of places
that have just opened.
I can do only two things for them—
describe this flight
and not add a last line.