something happened — flb/lb

Something Happened

by Francesca Lia Block & Lilly Barels


there were sirens and then ambulances
and the tiny woman bent in half, led along by a paramedic in yellow coveralls
he was twice her size and tender
i could see, even from the car

headlights blinked a staccato rhythm
white strobes
i didn’t move and i couldn’t breathe
and the high-pitched ringing drowned out the scream

i wonder what it will be like when i go
will the neighbors see the ambulance
will my house be torn down
books rotting in the trash

i remember staring at the star
i was six, maybe seven
it was close enough to touch and my dad said it was me
it was us

the hot winds scraping through the neighborhood
no more lawns left, or roses, or hardly any trees,
under the ozoneless sky

tailights blurred into a red line
into nothing
I didn’t move and I couldn’t breathe
and my heart snapped a rib in half

my children’s children will plan to escape planet earth for mars
where water has been discovered
and we don’t have to watch

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