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Photograph from September 11 ~ Wisława Szymborska

They jumped from the burning floors—
one, two, a few more,
higher, lower.

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 now opened.

I can do only two things for them—
describe this flight
and not add a last line.
 
 
 
Copyright © 2005 Wisława Szymborska, “Photograph from September 11” from Monologue of a Dog (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2005)


image credit: Iconic Photos

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