Coupled Disasters

By Najla Brown


Dirt devil twisting, long dead grass,

fasten the shutters with sandy hands

a storm swirling inside shaking palms.

It’s a breeze, I snap, a splintered tongue,

throwing the windows out like used water.


You mud slide yourself back from peril,

“It’s a tornado, can’t you see?”

Sunset catching grime on my lips

Is that what it is? Spinning around?

skies darkening into a hostile pink.


Soiled fingers fling upholstered limbs,

It’s dirty, but not that dangerous.

Choking on the words, twirling debris.

my brown eyes a sand-blasted wind.

“How can you say that? Can’t you hear?”


Earth ebbs at the threshold of our home.

I whisk your concerns out the door,

your safe refuge displaced in the process.

“You’re blowing it!” You boom.

Don’t you like fresh air? I whirl.


“We’re mucked.” You thunder. “I’m mucked.”

“It’s storming and you’re dancing ‘round!”

Cracked windows whistle warnings,

sirens screaming out my name.


You know what I mean, I rumble.

“I know that you’re wrong!” You rage.

Black blizzards will melt. Don’t worry so much.

I spit mud clots at nurtured walls,

you tsunami the dirt, angry, away.


“It’s coming down. Say you care!”

I tilt my head to the clattering roof.

It’s too dry to rain. Don’t you see the sun?

Furniture sits, uprooted trees,

Decorating the space with gnarled roots.

I collect myself on dusty duvets.


“You think you can sit, wait this out?”

Silence hangs as clouds clear.

Soil settles on back steps.

“I can’t feel the gale. It must be long gone.”

Whirlwinds can’t be felt within walled wreckage.

I still. Awaiting what trails storm-chase eyes…

FullSizeRenderNajla Brown is a senior at Texas A&M University. She is majoring in English and political science with the intent of enrolling in law school. Writing has always been a passion of hers since she started keeping a journal and writing poems about pandas at the age of 6. She is from the Lubbock area and enjoys attending more movies than weddings, harassing people who lose to her in Mariokart Double-dash, and demanding people read Richard Matheson’s “I am Legend.”


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