The wind soothes my burns and cleans my lungs. It whips
my ears until I hear nothing but its flickering whisper.
Everything has its inevitable descent.
I will be sixty tomorrow, a few years from retirement.
My reflection flashes across the sixtieth floor.
Somehow I look naked. I’ve forgotten my brief case.
I panic at the thirty fourth floor. When I was thirty four,
my wife and I were married in Carroll Gardens. I was so nervous.
It seemed like a such a big step.
The twenty third floor is for my daughter, just starting grad school.
Our phone call was short. I still think of her as a child,
so all I could say was, “I love you. Don’t be afraid of the dark.”
Fifth floor. I remember my mother teaching me
that God created us from the dust. I stopped believing long ago,
but this morning I open my arms wide, and the dust catches me.
Javen Tanner (For the tenth anniversary of 9/11)