by c.b. Joaquina
via

It happened all at once.

Emma was fixing herself a cup of coffee. 

Klint was scrolling through his phone,

trying to make sense of the world. 

Rey was talking to his excited little daughter. 

She was happy. It was her birthday. 

 

It happened all at once. 

We were all going about our day, 

Robots controlled by our materialistic engines. 

After all, aren’t we all hidden by our desire

to earn, 

to be captured by brilliant marketing, 

to be someone of value, 

to be recognized, 

to be loved, 

to be accepted? 

 

It happened all at once. 

We saw the impact before 

we heard the sound.

The sound of dreams lurching 

towards their incessant deaths, 

The roar of unsaid goodbyes, 

The screams of innocent people,

Targeted by false, destructive extremities. 

 

It happened all at once. 

As debris filled my nostrils, 

As I was hit by the ceiling, 

As I felt the ground below me fall inch by inch, 

I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t move. 

During those moments, I let myself

be swallowed by the earth. 

 

I saw them die… I saw them die. 

How could her parents fathom the death  

of their daughter, who only a few minutes ago,

was preparing herself a cup of coffee to

calm her anxieties of not being able to pay rent?

 

Had he seen, whilst scrolling through

New York Times,

that he was meters away, 

from a plane that crushed his skull, 

crushed his laughter,

crushed the hearts of all who loved him? 

 

Did his little daughter know that his father

won’t be coming home for her sixth birthday? 

 

It happened all at once.

I was clutching the railing,

watching people fall to their

salvation.

I watched them,

as lovers held hands,

as friends clung to each other’s warmth.

 

I closed my eyes. I let go.

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