Magnitude 7.1

Read my poem in the Spring Edition of Please See Me.

Poetry Editor Steve Granzyk, in his editorial letter remarks on the intentional open-endedness of the Magnitude 7.1 metaphor.

Read and listen here:

Magnitude 7.1

When the earthquake comes
at night, you search first for your
glasses, then your shoes. A flashlight
would be a friend, a protector.
There is so much splintered

glassware. In the morning,
before the power returns, you
take in the ruins, the way your home,
your neighborhood, has been lifted up,
shaken, and dropped any which way.

You plot ways to get more bottled
water if there is enough cash, if
the corner market hasn’t run out yet
—water is the thing—but suddenly
not as important as chocolate. You

obsess about chocolate now as you
rattle through your grim medical reports,
locate your meds, and reconsider their
usefulness in the rubble of your life,
just wanting us back the way we were

before tests, procedures, and surgeries,
before meds and your pacemaker,
breathing treatments and machines
and all those scans; before the forgetting,
the missed cues, the mirrored dismay

of others; back the way we were before
this earthquake of lurching past your
body’s limits. Chocolate beckons: dark,
semisweet, Swiss, chocolate pecan turtles,
and fudgy toffee kisses.