Three times, before I was one, something tried
to pull me back. When the San Gabriel
fault-line shook. When the firestorm and landslide
consumed the Malibu hills. When I fell
in the deep end at the Lil’ Angels Fun
Pool. Yes. There were other attempts, later,
but those were my failures. For eleven
short months in L.A. earth, fire and water
strove to claim me. Some curses get to hide
from us. Call it misfortune, my mom did.
Before I was her mistake she called me
her bad luck baby; one who should’ve died.
I’ve no memories of being that kid —
just what came after, what taught me to flee.