4.2 on Richter


It wasn’t your life that flashed before your eyes
upon that sickening jolt
not exactly
it was another life you had lived
in a dream
a series of disappointments
and this was the last straw

violence was being done to time itself
and through the cracks
in a vapor
there emerged scenes from a play
with characters speaking
a production of “Hamlet”
(the definitive one)
and all the quarrels and grievances laid out

then devastation

it didn’t need to be an earthquake
it could have been a knock on the door
the sound of a telephone
the cry of a peacock
rending the air
but it was an earthquake
(along the Hayward fault)
and a place in time
had been torn open

Stuart Dodds

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