Terrorism, fervent and wild, rising behind the tallest buildings.
Disaster forecast person to person.
The tidal wave was the newest weapon
in their innovative arsenal. They held up our fear
in a towering wall of water looming and leering
and looking menacing as only nature can. An impossible
sight, the wave tense and still, not breaking yet approaching.
It never changed its face,
but we knew it was coming closer. Its white crest
was like a national symbol. Its mighty power luminescent
and vibrating. The panic set in us and never left.
I am writing to you from final moments. The news
and the horrible rumble kept me in tears. I was afraid of the sound
and the shaking
more than the hot rush of water into my lungs, more
than the buildings snapping and collapsing. The
possibilities for terror in this were as enormous
as the wave itself. We knew of the bombs they
abandoned. The chemical compounds.
Gunfire a happier time. Now the shell-shocking roar
of nature harnessed was constant torture, shotgunning through the city
cloaked in the wave’s lengthening shadow.
Then inside the roar the sound of destruction.
It was coming closer. People were dying inside
the tidal wave. Their houses and their bodies
torn apart by the severity
of water. Water the giver of life.
The mother. Emotion. The tidal wave made the old
world new again. Suffering was new again.
The tumbling. It was not mysterious poison clouds, invisible
vapors of radiation. Terror now
was its own explanation. The terrorists now
had finally, and after so many long years of struggle,
beaten us down.
Then I remembered my old love of the ocean,
my sense of possibility. I was a boy
once running from the water’s wet tongue. Triumph
was theirs when that love left me.
The ocean was now something else, Earth’s mantle
swelling up through the crust, the planet turned inside out. I knew
the water was coming
closer. Everything then was suddenly too new. The tidal wave
destroyed who I was. All I remembered was
sitting once and listening from behind the dunes.
The sound of the ocean
turning its newspaper pages forever