by Reena Alter

This poem is not about the bodies soaring full of life until they weren’t
This poem is not about the smoke ascending before us like Jesus on the third day
Impatient it only waited for two
This poem is not about the bridges closed
My mother trapped on the wrong side
Not able to hug the fear from my body like a squeezed sponge
This poem is not about the house in Jersey that we barely furnished
Or how I couldn’t remember my address when the principal asked
This poem isn’t about being 10 and so far away from the neighbors
whose names I knew by heart, and wanting to be back in the Bronx
Where the pizza was made right and Papi was always a phone call away
This poem isn’t about the news
How they replayed the image of that plane
And that plane
Punching that building
Slamming the walls
Crushing the cubicles
My brother had told me wrestling was just make believe
But I know the walls of Jericho when I see it
At the assembly they asked, “does anyone have parents working in the city?”
This poem isn’t about me raising my hand
This poem isn’t about the people
Who don’t get to come home
This poem isn’t about fear or crying or whatever the fuck
This poem isn’t about war or presidents with egos the size of airports

This poem is about the sky
How I spent the rest of the day looking up
Wondering if we were next