1948 – Six Point Three


just a lazy winter afternoon

December 4

middle of a desert day

Desert Hot Springs

a great shock a quake a fearsome time

after shocks kept going until 1957

San Andreas along the San Gorgonio Pass

faults faults faults everywhere

lizards running birds shrieking

cars speeding down desert roads

the earth breaking and shaking

land that breathes anger and throws stones

ruptures of the Coachella Valley

Desert Hot Springs strike-slip

oil loosening brain quaking

blood heating earth quake

from Baja California to Santa Maria

coffee cups shook on tables

at greasy spoons and kitchens cooking

day one eighteen after shocks

Twelve the next day

sixteen the next year

Desert Hot Springs is quiet now

just wait just wait


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