The song was written late in The Rising's development, and was meant as a bookend to the album's "Into the Fire". Thus, the song tells the story of a New York City Fire Department firefighter, climbing one of the World Trade Center towers after the hijacked planes had hit them during the September 11 attacks. The lyric depicts the surreal, desperate environment in which he finds himself:
Can't see nothin' in front of me,
Can't see nothin' coming up behind ...
I make my way through this darkness,
I can't feel nothing but this chain that binds me.