To Survive So Many Disasters
you wonder: are you cursed?
If you are a curse.
Your high school torn apart by tornadoes,
homes destroyed by fire and earthquake and flood,
though you always narrowly escape.
What narrative are you writing in which
you are the sole survivor?
Cities crumbling, you don’t look back
lest you are turned to salt.
You were warned. You promised
never to return. You set out on a journey
far from home. You looked out into darkness
and saw possibility. Well, now, read your own palm –
even with that splintered lifeline, how many times
is it possible to escape death?
Once, twice, three times? Nine? The doctors cursed you
since the day you were born blue –
scarlet fever, drowning, cancer, or bleeding?
Your brain slowly decaying?
They are always telling you
when to die, but you ignore them,
tripping along with your basket.
All the leaves sharp-edged in the moonlight.
Your grandmother will tell you she was the wolf all along.
You know she’s right. You take up the hood
and once again walk the trail towards a new city,
even knowing your footsteps doom us all.