If the ground doesn’t shake for too long (a poem)

It’s completely a coincidence that I wrote this last night. The first line popped into my head as I was watching the BBC’s Kate Bush documentary. The parenthetical line sums up part of my experience living in Tokyo—if more than a couple of months had passed since the last noticeable earthquake, I’d start to get a little nervous, figuring that the regular small earthquakes helped release energy that might otherwise build up to later produce a much stronger earthquake.

I felt the kick
as though the ground dropped
out from under me

(If the ground doesn’t shake for too long, I get nervous)

The sudden horror
of the dizzy height
sent panic rising

(If the ground doesn’t shake for too long, I get nervous)

It was as if the sky
were now the ground
and I was falling

(If the ground doesn’t shake for too long, I get nervous)

(23 August 2014)