The land breaks against itself erupting in rock and dust—beautiful from a distance, beautiful up close, but beauty has never been the question. The land promises nothing on a good day. People say that the land looks like its father. A man who was a river. A man who was an undertow. A magic trick. Sometimes people say the land looks like its mother—but only from a distance and only if snow has freshly fallen. The mother was a woman who was a forest fire. A woman who was a valley. A promise on a bad day. The land is no stranger to floods, droughts, flash lightening. People say the land is resilient—a good place to raise a family, but the land is just land is just land is just rock is just crystalized magma and memory is just a uniform chemical composition is just
CLARA OTTO (they/them) is a queer writer living on the ancestral and unceded lands of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh speaking peoples. Currently, they are an MFA student at the University of British Columbia. Their work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in The Puritan, Plentitude Magazine, Foglifter Press, and elsewhere.