the day after

Plastic cups
still in their dispenser,
rest in the rubble where a restaurant was.

The hospital saw 600 patients in the first 5 hours.
40 children arrived alone.
Don't come if you only have broken bones.

Red X's on cars,
just additional scars
added to those already torn through the skin of the city.

A mailbox,
the day's delivery still in place,
displays the address of the house that should be behind it.

A dog still chained to a tree uprooted
from another plot of land,
must have surfed through the wind.

One man swears he was 30 feet above the ground,
riding in his iron bathtub,
Wizard of Oz style.

A cat found in a neighbor's apartment
hid under the wrong bed
since no walls are left between the two.

A student saw arms waving,
pulled a pregnant woman from under her house.
Then her child.
Then her mother.

My father saw a picture of a front door
with no house behind it.
Good thing you weren’t home, he says.
The girl nods, says,
I was.

A young man threw his nearly-naked body
over his neighbor. Not to be a hero,
but because he thought the world was ending
and he didn't want to be alone.

"Twisted" first appeared in Birmingham Arts Journal