Aftershock Eleven Thousand Seven Hundred and Ninety Eight

Silence, punctured by the clock measuring seconds as eleven thirty one becomes eleven thirty two. Open eyes close — open — sleepy elongated blinks, thought wanders about tomorrow’s to-dos.
Rumble, reverberating. Freight truck?             Hope.
Freeze. Listen.
The house creaks                lurches
—left—             lungs hold breath
Adrenaline released, muscles tense, thoughts fly. Baby? In bed. Husband? At desk, perched on the edge of his chair, poised for worse. Safety? Doorway behind me.
The rumble quietens
the house jiggles.


as if the earth was just rolling in its sleep, and now,
comfortable, still
for an unpredictable number of seconds now punctured by heartbeats.


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