I unpack the bags with the bread and lettuce and sausage and such in them, allowing the mundane to occupy my mind for a few more minutes. Later I will allow the television to occupy my mind, but the occasional whiff of burning wood reminds me of what is disintegrating. Yet the fires are only a small part of what is disintegrating. The greater disintegration— what lit the fires— is out there, everywhere. Things will be dismantled that will never be put back.
The fires will be contained, eventually, and if not will burn themselves out. What will contain the thing that lit the fires? Or will it have to burn itself out?
by Yusef Komunyakaa
The sun slides down behind brick dust,
today’s angle of life. Everything
melts, even when backbones
are I-beams braced for impact.
Sequential sledgehammers fall, stone
shaped into dry air
white soundsystem of loose metal
under every footstep. Wrecking crews,
men unable to catch sparrows without breaking
wings into splinters. Blues-horn
mercy. Bloodlines. Nothing
but the white odor of absence.
The big iron ball
swings, keeping time
to pigeons cooing in eaves
as black feathers
float on to blueprint