At first it was a laugh
    the vase, trembling
    then tiptoeing across the mantelpiece
    and you caught the tumbling flowers
    just in time
    and that tiny hairline fracture
    in the plaster, roof to floor –
    I dreamed of magma, pouring through
    the cracks, a white-hot underworld and fire.
    We pored over maps, yes the fault-line
    somewhere right beneath,
    imagining the giant plates grinding
    shockwaves tumbling houses,
    fleeing cattle, death
    waiting for the hills to
    undulate like waves
    the jutting prows of continents collide
    and unseen carapace of earth
    cliffs five miles high and right below
    moving, moving, an inch or two
    to change or waste our lives.
    All night long we listened.
    The radio talked about the Big One, a pulse
    metronomed inside my fingers, counting down.
    The cicadas had fallen silent and the moon
    flared in your witless, reassuring smile.
    I tasted fear, planned my exit
    from the falling shattered walls,
    waited for the dawn.

       – Jogyata.