In the Event of a Quake

Do you know
—in the event of a quake—
what happens to the phrase you copied but failed to paste,
and the e-mail you sent off through the information superhighway
to a recipient who is already spiraling down the fire exit?
Does data get suspended in a digital purgatory,
waiting for a random 0 or 1 to push it to its right place
in the space-time continuum? Does it stand still,
like a figure you could view from all angles Matrix-like?

Perhaps it doesn’t really matter as you realize how
inconsequential some things become when soil,
concrete, and cars dance precariously like chess pieces
as though someone careless bumped the board;
and how our hearts, like tiny panicked birds, flutter in the ribcage,

unless we happen to be listening to the words “Be still.”
Be still, says the voice, in the midst of the tremor and confusion—
digital, architectural, emotional, or otherwise.
Be still and know.

[March 2012]


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