[heads-up: mild body horror]

remember the spring the earth cracked?

verdant sun betrayed the moment’s weight;
smoky skies and crumbling buildings deserved the role.

bedrock fractured like Pandora’s ribcage–
shattered foundations no cast could set,
furies that would never return;
chase or flee, there was no standing still.

it hurt—
god, it hurt—
bone-hollow cancerous ache the color of bruises and teeth.

and where once you had feet,
icy mist;
you teetered on narrow points,
every step threatening to pierce the rice-paper earth.

remember the vertigo?

and how, cruelest of cruelties,
they still expected you to stand on mist-shrouded stubs,
to walk concrete slabs
(cracked; how could they not see the chasms)
from school to storefront
(broken bricks and dust)
as if the piercing sun were pavement.

“but the earth
is cracked
and jagged
and I have lost my feet.”

Header photo by Michael Mees.