Shake Out a Blanket and

Watch What Worlds You Release

by Brianna Noll

The deer’s been overtaken

by the forest, her mossy

underbelly its own habitat

threatening to green the host’s

mottled pelt. This is not like

the carcass some wild thing

dragged into and abandoned

in my yard when I was a child,

though it, too, was teeming

with life. No, this is living

upon the living, lovely and

dangerous. It’s easy to forget

when you live in a city how

incessant nature’s sprawl.

We watch as a group of four

women drill a hole in concrete,

but we’re not thinking about

what lives underneath. Here

we think about work—not

the work of biology but labor,

which has its own sprawl.

As with anything alive,

the aging of labor is visible

yet somehow still lively.

If we sit back too long

the forest will creep

onto the freeway. Idleness

is green, so we must never

sit. It’s easy to be bewitched

by stoicism when every day

brings new means of feeling small.