Tsunami Haibun with Floating Sister

Tsunami Haibun with Floating Sister – Mateo Lara

for Jordynn, with love

First image: my sister living her best life, youth intact and glowing. Next
Image: hours later, us dredging through a mall submerged in dirty water,
these excess bags I’m holding don’t do much for the experience but make
it worse. In which I was fighting with my mother at a fancy dinner before
the huge ocean came impressive and ominous up over the sky-line to bring
us into its depths. In which the only people to make it out of the mall were
5 of us and some strangers who disappeared as soon as we said the
mountains were safest. Never to be seen again, in which we made it as far
as the top of the smallest mountain and the waves reached us, in which we
held on for dear life and my mom and best friend told me to only hold my
breath as the waves hit, in which I held my sister close and told her the
same thing. In which the water rushed, pricked the skin cold and icy and
needle fit between my bone and my grin before this ruined the day, & how
when we all finally rose up from the ruins, my sister didn’t hold her breath
long enough and we had to let her float to the heaviness and heaven-ness
of the next life we could not run with her to. In which my mother blamed
me for letting her down, in which I felt like I let her down, in which I
could have traded my lungs for her. In which we swam through until we
reached dry land in which guns were waiting for everyone being too ready
to escape, in which they were only taking a select few and we weren’t
them. In which my grandpa was still alive with my grandma, in line
waiting for the boom! of all these trials to end. the flashing sign and the
empty pool they put us in, right behind a white fence, me and my mother
and my best friend still waiting for our turn to escape and playing along, it
was too late for my grandparents, so I promised to grieve later if the three
of us remained together and intact. The rush of nature ready to take out
anyone at the drop of a dime into its deep, the darkness, void-blue,
reflecting what the sun cannot give it, another world gone, another baby
gone, gone gone—in all fairness to the reeling, I wake-up sweating and
feeling as if this were real, but it’s not. In which I send texts to everyone I
love letting them know I am thinking of them and reality made me grateful
that none of this tragedy was real, but how real it felt to every thought

float by close your eyes

dream became a punishment

I still see the waves