Earthquake Test (A Poem)

Life in Taiwan, Poetry / Tuesday, February 6th, 2018

The earth shook beneath me,

first making my desk creak,

and then my apartment.

I’ll never get used to them.

For the first second or so,

I always think it’s my imagination.

It’s like I’m all of a sudden on a waterbed;

the whole world on a waterbed.

I feel drunk in an instant.

It happened the other night,

which is why it’s fresh in my mind.


Not small,

but not massively dangerous either.

A part of me wanted it to last longer.

The earth is talking to me,

entrusting me with something worthwhile and meaningful.


I felt connected to her,

like I do in a storm – but an earthquake is different.

When she shakes my foundations,

she’s forcing me to listen;

grabs me by the shoulders,

looks me directly in the eyes.

She’s serious.

“Do I have to scare you,” she says,

“in order for you to believe I’m living?”

“I’m afraid so.”





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