Dennis Roth

September 11, 2001

Falling. Why are you falling?
was it the smoke, the heat, and a final burst of flame
that made flight the only choice?
I didn't know a body could go so fast
thirty-two feet per second per second
filmed against that huge building in your tumbling smallness
you seemed to enter a different space
dropping like a rock but you were not a rock
but a living, moving, twisting body, a human body
like those others who seconds earlier
had been pressing and squeezing against window and ledge
I hope in the terror of that fall there was an instant of freedom,
freedom from the immediate fiery pain but also from that constant one
that weighs us down and makes us slaves to our own gravities
in falling I hope you may also have flown
but maybe not and certainly not all the others
who shared those ledges with you
here such language begins to fail or to deceive
we make what consolations we can


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