The Wrong Day

The Wrong Day

it was so beautiful today, the most perfect of ones lighted on bricks and the last
walkings toward figures one had seen all summer and would see again

and my parents arrived last night after being delayed in the rain in Boston
and we all know all those airports how they chide and demand and finally

banish you to a room with tv sets and soda and you crinkle at the dead smell
but they arrived and we woke and started the telephone calls and then

the telephone call, brushing it off, a freak, but this one was serious and only
the Spanish-language channel could tell it, horrible escalation and then

deflation, mystic disappearance into air that is bodies and rock and fire
took streets in the light air, floods walking up, every talk a fragment of same

conversation “ash and bits of dust” “got to get over the bridge to Queens”
“airplane plowed right into it” “they both collapsed” all day a dull wandering

meet friends milling on corners as if at a party someone had died and the goers
unable to meet it still in the act of living but suspended, separate from life

seems as though it couldn’t have happened, those buildings so much a part of
growing up, going out, getting there, that skyline, anchoring it, vanished

September 11, 2001 — Vincent Katz