Landfall

Landfall
that one English word
in Philippine news reports about Guiuan
where Magellan landed in 1521
where the Americans made their first beachhead in World War II
in the swirl of Tagalog I don’t understand
that word keeps floating to the surface
landfall
where floors shook
where roofs blew off
where concrete columns toppled
where wind gusts reached 195 miles per hour
where a 13-foot wall of water swept ashore
landfall
where the eye took a brief calm
sightless look & moved on
where a stone church was flattened
landfall
where “100 percent
of all structures were damaged”
where evacuation centers collapsed
where 47,000 souls had been living
land
fall

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