Seven-year Quake

Jacqueline Lyons
| poetry


This year’s quake was centered in the body seven years ago replaced by the body now


“Some facts generate their own metaphors, and the news is
surreal,” said a resident on earth, lifting a vessel with her heart, opening windows with her lungs, and shouldering burdens cell by cell by cell by cell


“If we breathe, we are alive, and if we are alive, all things are possible,” said a geologist with the US Geological Survey who celebrates Groundhog Day every day, “we don’t tend to think of it this way”


Eyes moving in their orbits, hip joints rotating in their sockets


Resident Endrasa Stein, who stood a short distance away from her body when the quake unfolded, told reporters, “Emergency is emergency is emergency is emergency”


The quake struck in evening as tenor and vehicle thinned to breaking


Eye, neighbor to ear, into heart, becomes breath


The quiet mind-blowing quake caused shaking on a cellular level, and generated the most imagery since the news that the majority of the human body is composed of water


The epicenter was located in the vicinity of happy hour, where four out of five trivia questions were answered correctly while only half-listening and eating fish tacos: Genesis, the Galapagos, the Dalai Lama, Frida Kahlo


A Utah seismologist and divorcée who identified as widowed crossed the atrium into the geology hallway, looked past the skeleton displayed inside its glass case, and forward to meeting her newest body.

Jacqueline Lyons is the author of the poetry books The Way They Say Yes Here (Hanging Loose Press) and Lost Colony (Dancing Girl Press). She is Associate Professor of English-Creative Writing at California Lutheran University.

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