earthquake weather by alison green
In Los Angeles, it is earthquake weather. It is earthquake weather, and I am falling out of love with you and breaking my own heart trying to pretend I’m not. It is earthquake weather, hazy and congested, thick clots of heat, and I stand in the middle of my backyard watching the tree branches dance in the hot breeze and try to let go. I remember your hot breath on the back of my neck in the middle of the night, remember slow dancing with you below a shamelessly full moon, remember wanting to get closer and closer, close enough to fall forward into the rippling lake of you. I remember your long jawline carving a half circle into my gut, the soft dip of your upper lip precious as a newborn every morning. There is nothing we can do but wait. Dogs bark. My roommate says she can lend me some of her anti-anxiety meds. People say it’s earthquake weather when the air feels velvety and the sun pours down like black coffee, but the truth is, there is no weather below the earth’s surface. We have no way of knowing. We don’t know whose fault it is. We didn’t listen. I sleep with tennis shoes on. I go to a friend’s art opening downtown and look up the entire time, an emergency kit in my purse. The hairs on the back of my arm stand at attention. My roommate and I crunch anti-acids like candy. You wake me at five in the morning with your hardness, fuck me facing the bare white wall. I remember looking at you, talking fast about something in a dark bar in San Francisco, and thinking, this man knows everything, and this man loves me. In my dreams, I am swallowed up by the earth and all you can hear is glass shattering. I get very drunk and call you eight times. You do not pick up. LA is a dry rattling cough. LA is that cottony taste in your mouth when you wake up hungover with your phone in your hand. We sit in silence on the 210, the lights downtown winking at us, and my stomach slices itself into shoelaces of bitterness, tying itself into knots. Your mouth is a long line. I loved you. I loved you so much I took a pregnancy test in the bathroom of a Mediterranean restaurant in Berkeley and thought, if I’m pregnant, maybe we’ll keep it. I forget the rest. The earthquake will unzip California down its center, tectonic plates rubbing together like rolling your shoulders back after a long day, like saying out loud what you are scared to admit to yourself, like I don’t love you anymore, like a long black canyon of silence, like finally: relief.