I didn’t change

I didn’t change
my clothes
that day.

Just home after
a game of basketball.

Tennessee hot,
even in what should have
been fall, made me sweat
all the time
even then.

And then a scream on the
other end of the landline
(when we still had those)
of grief and confusion.

Seventeen years later,
I can remember the flowery
upholstery on the couch, the
nicks on the wooden chairs,
the size of the television
in the waning days of those heavy
tubed boxes, before they went flat,
and the gray plumes of smoke

that covered the bodies of
all people caught
on their way to work,
ready to start their days,
scared that this was the end,
with the powder of grief and
death. Their shirts and suits
the color of the plumes.

In my mind,
their clothes
never change.

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