So I was half-watching the Science Channel
or Discovery Channel
or one of those,
and the show was speculating about
what would happen if the
enormous caldera under Yellowstone erupted.
And basically, we’d all be screwed.
I presume majestic buffalo and campers in their tents
would fly through the air from the explosion
and be incinerated,
and maybe someone like Bruce Willis or the Rock
could outrun a torrent of lava or ball of fire,
but Montana and Wyoming and Colorado
would be buried in ash,
and it would be like nuclear winter
No air travel, no power, crop failure.
(And why do they show these doomsday programs
late at night when you’re trying to sleep?
Like I need one more fucking thing to worry about.)
I am terrified of unleashing my anger
at everyday provocations,
like rude drivers and passive-aggressive work emails,
and the ancient traumas that bubble threateningly
just under the surface.
I smile pacifically.
“No problem,” I chirp in response to the grossest imposition.
But if I were to vent, I am sure that
there would be a blast of bright light,
and nothing would be left of trees, people, cars, and houses
but piles of black ash for at least a five-mile radius.
Maybe later generations could reconstruct
peoples’ poses of terror and futile defense,
like the victims of Pompeii,
rebuilt in plaster.
Lava would shoot out of my mouth and eyes
and out of the ends of my hair.
The earth would shake under your feet
hundreds of miles away,
and if—IF—you survived,
you would tell your children and your grandchildren
that you could never erase from your mind
the sounds of the seemingly endless
deluge of profanity,
louder than any sound that’s ever been recorded
on modern instrumentation.
Luckily for you, this occurs only about
every few thousand years or so,
but no one knows the last time it happened,
so technically, it could happen at any second.