-Based on the 9/11 photograph by Richard Drew.


The metal framework behind you

is gone now; it followed you down

that day, exhausted by the effort

of staying upright, of breathing smoke.

You heard someone scream oh shit, oh shit—


but you whispered to the horrified eyes

watching your body tumble into

a headfirst decision: it’s okay

once you get used to the feel of it


Below, a nest of girders and concrete

for you to rest in. The wing of an airplane

shaded your dimming eyes. Then there was silence.


it’s okay you whispered


the fall will last your lifetime




Issa M. Lewis: I am a graduate of New England College’s MFA in Poetry program and currently teach composition at Davenport University. I was the 2013 recipient of the Lucille Clifton Poetry Prize, and my poems have previously appeared in Tule Review, Jabberwock, Blue Lyra Review, Pearl, and Naugatuck River Review.