THE RUMPUS -- Lillian Giles is a Black queer writer and educator living in Oakland. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in literature and is currently earning a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at San Francisco State. Giles wrote this essay for The Rumpus.
“They tried to kill us. They tried to murder our gods, tried to drag them through beautiful emerald green forest. Unentered pristine forest; the moist black soiled, bird-singing, dead body weight pulled through forest. The heavy-breathing, barely-able-to-capture-our-plumeria-scent forest. They called us witches, tried fire, earth, sky and water on us.
”But some of us did not die. This was their first mistake. ...”