I am fairly young when I first see pictures of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
We are in class and two boys are fighting,
I cannot tell.
I am too transfixed by the destruction before me,
A city of ruins,
Ruined by the very Earth it was built upon.
San Francisco is my neighbor,
with her sloping hills and buildings that stretch farther than my little arms are capable of reaching,
I do not know why I love her,
but I do.
Red cable cars that chime and howling sea lions, basking in sun and the gaze of tourists,
Singing rhythms of crowds,
Feet and heart beats pound in unison.
But I do not know this 1906 version of San Francisco.
I am afraid I look like this version,
I am split right down the middle,
Tectonic plates shift and I cannot stop people from falling,
But I see her rebuild.
I see my shining San Francisco,
a Phoenix rising from ash.
I wonder if I too can rise from this ash.
This heaviness that has settled into my lungs,
I am creating my own earthquakes.
And I am the only one to blame.
A force of nature in a way I have grown to fear,
my own unpredictability,
What will set off
my own tragedy?