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the giver

through plants

rooted on a hillside on Ohlone land

between three oaks

surviving drought and atmospheric rivers


speak it into the garden

and laugh it into the soil

as we pull at dead roots

unearth shadows to breathe as we shake them loose

shake the earth from old pathways

and re-seed weeds & medicines


listen with our eyes

listen with our hands

listen with our fingertips

with our bodies

as we step through singing grasses

where I remember my grandfather

as we dance with brambles,

pull thistle from the soft of their stems,

taproot intact

retrieve climbing vines smothering olive trees

untangle messes, follow trailing thoughts


listen in milliseconds

exhale and release


find resolve

taste the light sweetness of small wild strawberries

lip stained, smiling


feel in microscopics and nuance

plant seeds of grief

cast seeds of dreams, of futures

honor the cleansing wind and rain

the anger and the fires that incite new growth

nicole gervacio is an artist in occupied Ohlone territory, Huchiun - also known as Oakland, California. they are inspired by bodies, memory, permanence versus impermanence, are driven by a fear of forgetting, and navigate with ancestors and future generations.

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