Poems

LAUREN MALLETT
Resist

The people said resist enough times and the forest spiraled into bitter.

The people said resist enough times and the oldest brain burst into fern.

They named the fern Resist.

The people gave Resist a place to stay. Resist stayed in the crisscross

of windfall and termites. Resist had the urge to prune its bottomest umbrellas.

Resist had the urge to chase down the colonies.

The people said, no chainsaws, Resist.

They, all of them, stood atop the meadow of moss.

So Resist called upon their dead in the chill of the smoke-blottoed sun.

The people drew up some hyphenated hardly-air.

The rain will come, they begged their dead to say. Were they even listening?

Then they asked their dead for a fable.

They named the fable Tunnel Spark.

Were they even listening?

Resist was. Resist had the urge to eat a home around them.

Resist said help enough times that the people drew how on their faces.

What did how look like?

How looked like enough was eating at them, like enough was even starting to hurt.

Lauren Mallett’s (she/her/hers) poems appear in The Seventh WaveSalamander, Passages North, Fugue, and other journals. She lives on Clatsop-Nehalem land of Oregon’s north coast. www.laurenmallett.com