two buildings
side by side
the world’s largest pause symbol
in september of two thousand one
america froze midstep
in coffee shops people were forced to take a minute
to look into the eyes of friendly strangers
the nation took a mental day
muted the tv

and watched the sound of chaos colliding with structure
we remembered
this land is our land
this land is your land
but the world’s largest pause symbol
made us take a second to realize
we do not own the skies

i wonder what the last thing the twin said to her brother was before she watched him burn to the ground zero

frozen in time
new york city
rippling to the pacific coast highway
the gulf of mexico
through radio, through television
through fragile phone calls
our two american arms
reaching up towards god
shattered like a piggy bank
the world’s largest pause symbol
like a drop of blood reminding us
we are human
we are all united most of all
that in a blink of an eye
we can disappear
we all are walking around on a powder keg
smoking cigarettes
bombs    strapped to our hearts

i wish the duality of this tragedy
would wash away the space between us all
i wish that people would notice
two divided buildings, together they fall
ashes to ashes, dust to dust
left wing, right wing
one plane crashing into three dimensions

“my head is on fire
my knees feel weak
i am dizzy, disoriented
butterflies running around in my stomach
my very foundation is shaking
won’t someone break my fall?”

this has been a test of your emergency broadcast system
we now return you to your regularly scheduled program




Author: brice maiurro

Denver poet. Author of Stupid Flowers, out now through Punch Drunk Press.

20 thoughts on “(PAUSE)”

  1. Well said. I’m still too emotionally close to this day to be able to do it justice in poetry. Honestly, I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to distance myself enough to write a poem that says about today what I really want to express.

  2. Paralyzing. Brilliant. My heart too was “shattered like a piggy bank.” It’s hard to “like” such sadness – but as Eli Weisel once said, “We must never forget…”

  3. “i wonder what the last thing the twin said to her brother was before she watched him burn to the ground zero”
    I completely filled up here. Such an emotive piece – well written and really makes you stop and think.

  4. I actually ended up viewing this piece after reading another visitor’s comment that referred to it elsewhere on your blog and I have to agree with her. Love the symbolism and the message.

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