Sunday Poem

by nicolecallihan

Photograph from September 11

by Wisława Szymborska
They jumped from the burning floors—
one, two, a few more,
higher, lower.

The photograph halted them in life,
and now keeps them
above the earth toward the earth.

Each is still complete,
with a particular face
and blood well hidden.

There’s enough time
for hair to come loose,
for keys and coins
to fall from pockets.

They’re still within the air’s reach,
within the compass of places
that have just now opened.

I can do only two things for them—
describe this flight
and not add a last line.
Translated by Clare Cavanagh and Stanislaw Baranczak
from Monologue of a Dog. Copyright © 2005 by Wislawa Szymborska.