We never did understand how that old pair of shoes
ended up in the bathroom; neither could we fathom
how our bed dropped like a rock, moments before
sunrise; and, although we knew perfectly well why
the moon turned red around midnight, we never really
explained our rattlesnake fear that the Pacific Ocean
would reclaim all points west of National Boulevard.
Our last source of air leaked out through bullet holes
in the plate glass windows; Gray Whales breached just
beyond the sandbars; Brown Pelicans squabbled over
anchovies; wildfires blackened the Chaparral, set seeds
for next spring’s Californian Poppies. Would we reach
Santa Catalina Island? We checked our supplies (beans,
water, rice), held our breath, our hands, fitfully slept.
Waiting for the Big One, West LA, 1982
1 February 2013