A simple word.
A little word.
I can feel the ground rumbling underfoot. The room is a vacuum and all of the air has been sucked out. Voices drone, but all I hear is roaring. My feet shuffle on the slick tile, and then I’m grasping her to my chest: my little daughter with the ink black curls. I don’t know how I got here, across the room from that evil word. I bury my face in her hair, breath in the fever sweat and oil and dirt. How long until I’m pulling dark strands off of her pillow? Or will she die before the hair can fall out? I’m spiraling now, sinking lower into my panic, breathing deeper gulps of the smell of her detangler, tears pelting her head like a summer rain.
I have to stop. I have to stop. I need to control myself. For her.
I suck in one last indulgent breath, and then a small hand is clasping my cheeks, dark brown eyes boring into mine with an intelligence that betrays an old soul, wearied by the months long struggle with her mystery illness… her…cancer.
She pats my cheek. I pat hers. Our eyes lock in the embrace of words unspoken. She knows. Her eyes have told me the truth. She knows. A tiny smile touches her rosebud lips, and her voice is a whisper of spring rain, “It’s okay, mama.”
Lumbering steps approach from the other side of the room, and large arms encircle us. Her smile grows as she reaches up to pat daddy’s cheek, too. I shrink in, pulling their love around me. We are safe here, in this cocoon of family. We are safe. And the world can crumble. And our hair can fall out. And the doctors can say that evil word. But I am safe in the arms of my family.
like water in a glass on a train,
a little too close to my brain
it's in the sky,
clouds roaring their warning,
choking dust clouds forming
when it's all in my head,
hold it in,
quivering thin as thread
close the door
or your eyes
hide under mismatched bed spreads
leach the feelings out
laying in a pool of your own dread
rocking with the earth beneath your feet,
slipping down into the deep
we're clinging to the window light,
reminding ourselves we're still here,
sinking our toes into the carpet weave,
drawing the light beams more near
to run through your bones,
and the sun and moon to wink it away,
a breath to calm the nerves,
and the steadiness to finally stay.
When the earth starts to shake, I always find it in me to disappear.
I hide, afraid as always, of what it would be for someone to see me in the middle of an earthquake.
In-between the cracks in my flimsy armor.
I take cover and brace myself and wait for the force keeping me standing to piece me together, hold me upright
I sit and I wait and I wait and I...
I sit and wait and dream.
Of a different world.
This world was made for bolder ones, I suppose.
Those of us who have our feet constantly off the ground, heads in the clouds or in the ground, desperate for solace and security?
We are doomed to live forever through earthquake after heart-shattering earthquake
Feel our blood spike with the tremors of the ground as it tumbles beneath our feet
Slip, sink, vanish a while with me, my friend
While we drown again this night, follow me to dream
Of a world where Fear is a forgotten relic of history, a thing of the past
Where Shame is too burdened by self-loathing to walk so confidently among us
Where the folly of Self-consciousness is forever drowned out by whispers in the trees of "you deserve to be here"
But I'm afraid anxiety and I will dance another round, another day
Panic will pool at my finger tips, trying to force crimson scratches I make just to hide his presence
I'm afraid I will always be afraid
I'm afraid of the world I've always lived in.
Where the earth always shakes, where I must walk along with the cracks in the armor regardless
Nowhere is sanctuary
"And if the world don't break, I'll be shaking it..."
I'm on my way to my room on the second floor.
Breathless from a bit of exercise by climbing up the stairs.
My lungs pleading and thighs screaming. A reminder of how my feeble body needs a healthy lifestyle, which I continue to disregard.
My world view tilted in a mere second my mind slip into some dimensional crack I created every moment I get. My current train of thought broke and generated a new one.
Did I almost faint just now?
Am I dizzy just from walking on the stairs?
I stopped my track one step before my bedroom door, trying to stabilize my balance.
Then finally realizing a slight shake just happened after noticing my hanged clothes swaying in odd manner.
There's an earthquake....?
Still trying to understand the situation.
Another dizziness hit me, holding onto the wall.
It was a feeling of being pushed by some invisible force.
My body swayed out of control while still trying keep my balance.
The walls were undoubtedly swaying more.
Creaking sounds can be heard around me.
My window frame clacking. Everything is rattling in discordant harmony.
I fell down on my butt
I started dry heaving
That note like frequency piercing my right ear.
Followed by a hollow thundered erratic heartbeat.
Cracks formed on the walls gradually spreading towards me.
And I caved in.
Clawing my hair in disarray.
Bitting my lips torn till I tasted rust
Gasping for air, desperately breathing.
Then my floor crumbled.
I wasn't even standing
I fell down together with the debris and dust.
And I let myself sink deeper.
Burying me deep within the rumbles of the aftermath.
Within the pit I made for myself.
Within the dark with no oxygen left to breath.
Then I blinked.
And found myself still in my room,
On my bedroom floor.
As if nothing happened,
My room still the same, barely organized with my things all over the place.
Where do we go when the earth starts shaking,
and the storm pulses your brain
to the click-clack of your teeth?
Well, just for a moment,
your soul blasts from your body like light exploded from stars,
long enough for your sizzling mind
to wonder if it will ever return
or float off on a one-way to ticket to torture or bliss or some other plane,
before it returns like a deep, sudden inhale.
Where Does the Earth Go?
Is it really a tragedy if the Earth were to shake?
If Mother Nature were to wake up and rid herself of the pests that inhabit her body?
Would it not be selfish?
For me to turn to my friends?
To cry to my loved ones?
To hold their hands in mine and weep what we had?
Who am I to mourn what was never really mine?
When the Earth Starts Shaking
When the earth starts shaking beneath my feet, when my footing is off, or I feel off-balance, I run to the one who holds my heart. He lifts me up and steadies me, giving me something solid to stand on. With him, my fears don’t seem so big, and the world doesn’t seem so unstable. He may not be able to stop the earth from shaking, but he makes me strong enough to endure it.