1. The Pursuit of Flora
Flora and I were in an earthquake together.
I thought that would be enough to seal our inevitable consummation,
but she was in love with someone else.
What was shocking was she wouldn't have survived.
If I had not intervened she would not have survived,
but I have no regret for being her ceiling for one moment.
For being her house, her floors, her walls, her door frame.
I was the air gap in an avalanche.
I did not move out of the way as the light fixtures, bookends, fine glasses and crystal hailed down.
Before the tremor, it was different.
Why did you wait so long?
I was too late. She fell asleep.
The house moved sideways.
The ironing board in the kitchen fell over.
Two pictures moved.
The house shook slightly.
The walls seemed affected.
Windows, perfume bottles, cosmetics, cups.
Apples fell from trees.
The ceiling lamp swung.
The wardrobes were collapsing.
The bed moved.
The room shook twice.
A porcelain jug inside a china dish rattled.
The bedroom door opened.
A sense of dropping, as in a lift.
I was aware something had moved.
Birds were singing loudly.
The bedroom faces east.
The building moved.
Milk from a small jug spilt onto a tray.
Objects were dislodged from stacks.
A noise like moving thunder.
A train going underneath the house.
A mini- tornado.
Building to a crescendo and then falling back.
A shower of fine particles.
The hangers on the door were clinking together like a chandelier.
Indoors, bedroom, top floor.
Only radiators rattling.
Unable to describe the sensations.
Birds gave alarm calls.
Floorboards were moving.
The house sank and then rocked.
Curtains fell down.
Objects on shelves were closer to the edge.
A chair lifted.
How can I describe it as the sound of a plane before crashing. I am fairly sure I was not dreaming and the only way I can begin to describe the incident in my own mind is that it was some sort of tremor.
And then it passed.
How can I be certain I protected her from catastrophe?
I was bent over.
My knees on the floor.
My back stiff as a board.
My head down.
Hands like iron weights nudged under a door to keep it open.
Flora sleeping beneath me.
And waking up,
Was that a bomb going off?
Was that a plane taking off?
Was that thunder?
A bomb in the distance?
A distant train?
awoken by a vibrating house
(mattress on floor)
No one writes an ode to a Tsunami...