November, Oakland

by: Hilary Brown

Trauma lodges
in the gut, throat, jaw, teeth
grinding themselves, eat
experience until it’s gone.
Spit it out.

It takes up residence,
digs the foundation in ground
that slips. Landslide and landslide
and landslide. It clings
to that bluff.

Plants itself. Invasive.
Killing other life. Fungus
and spores climbing trees
with rot. Dark mold
that finds its way
in greater darkness.

Pretty birds of grief
eating the essential stuff.
No other animal
can live.

Russian thistle
blocking the roads
in that picturesque way
it has. Still there’s no
getting through it.
Just sitting surrounded,
hungry, staring at the sky,
falling in love with all this


Hilary Brown is a writer and activist living in Oakland, California. Her writing explores themes of body deemed dangerous–queer, disabled, female–and the embodiment of god in nature and humanity. She seeks to celebrate what is too rarely celebrated: the necessity of decay, the simplicity of pain and healing, the slow process of becoming.

© Author/Artist retains all rights to reprint, publish, license and/or sell their Work.




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