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Mt. Pinatubo

Three o’clock in the afternoon: 
the sun should have been 
scorching the asphalts 
and the shingles on roofs, but 

spurts of red electric spark
ran across the sky.  Blackness 
smothered any hint of light. 
Molten earth spewed out 
from the gates of hell. The ground 
rumbled and shook. 
Ash engulfed the rice fields. 
Those who were caught 
and trapped in its path 
were mummified like those at Pompeii. Rocks, 
mud rained from heaven, 
thudded against concrete walls. Palm and coconut 
trees were unearthed from their roots 
as if a gardener was yanking out weeds. 

Villagers ran blindly to a nearby church 
while their skins roasted and peeled  
from their muscles and bones. The ones, 
who were able to reach 
the Cross, suffocated—their lungs 
seared from sulfuric acid. 
An avalanche of dirt buried them 
six feet deep.

I was on the opposite 
side of the island. The wind 
howled as it blew East. 

Copyright © | Year Posted 2008

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