Dear Jon

by

12/01/2005

250 e 22nd St. ny 10010

Neighborhood: World Trade Center

Dear Jon,

An airplane crashes into The World Trade Center where you’ve been working for only six days. 97th floor. We are told— incinerated. A friend calls to wake me— turn on the radio. I get through to Erika and ask her how she is. It’s not me, it’s Jon.

A memorial service, suicide attempts, rage, denial— grief’s harder to come by. Erika is still awash in memories, relives times with you where these things don’t happen. Innocence? No more. Sometimes I think my daughter’s a shell. A hard nut. Even a blood vessel about to burst. No weekend is again like any other. No movies. No theatre. No opera.

Three months after 9/11 Erika has a tree of life burned into her back with your birth and death dates. One side all branches, the other two leaves remaining, ready to fall. She knows from the moment it hits the news. No hope. Ever. Then, without warning on March 11th 2002 a knock comes at the door. 7:30a.m. Police! Come to the morgue. They’ve identified him.

4 ½ inches of your pelvis. We pick you up six weeks later from a mortuary. A length of cigar divided between Erika and your mother. I sit there with you in a paper bag next to me telling you how much I miss you. Tell you no one should ever have to go through this. You in two tiny urns, each in a box, both in a paper bag.

For Jon Grabowski, 1967-2001

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