Horror. Dread. Confusion. Fear. Anxiety. Horror. Confusion. Fear. Dread. Anxiety.
Horror. Horror. Horror.
Fire, smoke, melting windows unzipping the buildings.
A rain of blood and fuel spattering on the streets.
A hail of body parts battering the pavement.
From the high windows, graceful deadly dives, over and over and over. Gymnastic deaths, swan songs, terrible in their final beauty.
The house of steel cards, too hot now and weak, faints into an infolding collapse, accordioning lives into the failed metal.
Vast empty smoking space, blue sky and sunlight in the wrong place.
Cataclysmic awful destruction of buildings, ideals, icons, and lives.
The few gray survivors staggering up from the ashes.
An exodus of bloodied, battered, shocked, blinking, unthinking, unfeeling, stunned pedestrians flooding out over the bridges.
Firefighters and police and ambulance personnel flooding in, seeking, rescuing, treating, sobbing, dying, breaking, helping, saving.
Spires of ruined window casings penetrating from hot destruction, improbable churches rising from the ashes.
The doleful rotten death count, first from bodies, then from parts, then from sifting the ash, then from process of elimination.
A town of people gone. A host of futures. Infinite possibilities eliminated.
A populace of battered, stunned, indignant, angry survivors left to fill in the terrible vast gaps.
All of us who survived, remember.
5 years ago.
Seems like yesterday.
Might be tomorrow.
The pit of my stomach and a space in my heart are empty with the thought.