Hilary Plum

Hilary Plum is the author of the novel They Dragged Them Through the Streets (FC2, 2013). She is co-director of Clockroot Books, and with Zach Savich she co-edits Rescue Press’s Open Prose series. Recent work has appeared in Western Humanities Review, Pleiades, Two Serious Ladies, and Modern Language Studies.

In this matter it is the settlers who are the experts

Upon reflection the train will cross the lake. Upon
precipitation the siege. Suit yourself in the arena. To us a
naked man served as apology, like the others his face
acknowledged our breath. Throughout each cathedral a
tiger economy. Not one among us did not take hostage.
A sordid history of bridge building. Resembling the
weeping statue but for the chisel. Each winter the
children’s cairns grew further afield. I pressed a uniform to
my cheek. Had a premonition and divvied the frybread.
Within sight of our feet we advanced to the point where
there was no flag.


No beard could mollify their long faces. Seagulls dove off
the cliffs while they begged terms. I was preoccupied and
the thought went to my head. The train went to pieces as
we broke the news. Upon shortage of warriors the bards
went back to the drawing boards. Upon the horizon a rank

An ache in my breasts receding. The hay sweet in the aerie
and hearts athrob in the shells. I took shelter before
consolation. I took Strasburg. With a vow of silence the
seed was spilling. Two peasants approached and we took them
for a den of thieves.


In the event even the historians disseminated. To us the
trees were still standing. There was a hint of bias in the
decree. I closed one eye and peasants suckled at the last
supper. From afar the surf subsided. Spears lost track of
their horses and I found the falcons misguided. To wit I
found no more falcons.
Squaw pursed her lips. The light lowered to a child. Left-
handed I wrote proclamations and with the other I
plucked a locust right out of the frying pan. The boys
leaked milk and the train harbored. A system for the gas
emptied out of their lungs. We stood by the river and
countenanced no phenomenon. From the necks of babes
had we strung up our first words. Upon the gravestones a
uniform bearing madman madman madman


Among the tribes we took refuge. Bricks parted before us,
breeze settled our helicopters. The ponies aligned
themselves with the stars. We steeled one another. With a
practiced gesture the ships slid into the locks. It was no
coincidence we could not pursue our consuls. It was no
infection but we coughed it up.

We tried our hands at the ankles. Limber the rhetoricians
waving the white tablecloths. Had a man been nailed to
that poster the barkeep would declaim. After careful defeat
we discredited the translator. That is to say we were raised
by wolves. Even manacled I caught on.

Who would speak to the cause? Who would not bide his
time by the first-borns? For all I owned up to my deputies.