Steel beams like shoelaces.
Twisted, taught, writhing.
Struggling, pleading to be unfolded and hammered straight.
Begging to have time turned back.
Souls hurled at terminal velocity
Their descent fueled by pain, anguish, love, fear, hope…
All of these at once being felt, but none, at once, able to be distinguished.
The downward force pressing emotions, thoughts, screams and prayers into
A ball…flesh, bone, suits, ties, shoes.
Leaping forth, eyes closed, led blindly by gravity unto their inevitable concrete canvas.
Creating a hellish masterpiece so gruesome, so unreal, it races past my heart and mind, black as night, devoid of substance, but carrying the weight of 2,606 life stories and anchors itself forever directly into the forefront of my soul, taking the place of the innocence that resided there.
A sea of humanity.
Confusion, hope, loss, animal instinct.
The strange beauty of the ash and dust settling, like snowflakes of death.
Making them all the same.
None black, white, young, old, poor, wealthy…
Just frail, lost souls, peering into the gray abyss.
Flesh melting and falling from bone,
Begging to be picked up and molded into something new, somewhere new.
Something void of pain, void of this place and its unspeakable concert of screams, cries, pleas for help, for prayers, for answers.
18 years of life, 2 1/2 years of training, experience all boiled down to 16 hours.
You have to help, you are here to help.
Pick yourself up, suck the breath back into your lungs.
Stifle your screaming, tuck in your uniform, check your gig line.
Find the mouth of hell, where all of the bodies pour out.
Trying desperately to get free, climbing over each other like a stair case
Made of meat, and shoes, wallets, baby pictures, office furniture.
Find that awful nightmare that everyone is trying to escape…
That’s where you need to go to.
Find the gaping, voracious maw, and run into it.
You showed up to do something…now get to fucking work.