Volume 22, Number 3


On that day men shall become like scattered moths …
              —Qu’ran 101:3

Before stepping into sunlight
from a shattered 104th story window;
before comfort of fresh air in broken windowpanes
and the resignation of a clear fall morning;
before darkness and smoke rolled across the ceiling
like thunderheads of a growing storm, choking us; before
shouting into gaping elevator shafts and stairwells
that no longer returned the echoes of voices;
before rising with ringing ears from beneath leveled cubicle walls;
before steel-shredding violence splintered desk and chair legs,
flattening us into unforgiving Berber carpet;
before walking past reception and smiling,
before rising into the city from Lincoln Tunnel,

I woke to darkness from a dream I could not remember,
heard the ceiling fan clicking above me
and faded back to sleep
not knowing that today I would give myself to gravity,
a premature moth emerging from a wind-torn cocoon,
                         lightblind in morning sun.

—Brock Michael Jones