Albatross chick: six months. Cause of death: starvation due to a full stomach. Contents of stomach: cigarette lighters, pump-top sprayer, nut shells, shot gun shell, broken clothespins, hundreds of bits of plastic.
—National Geographic picture caption
Cold knots melt in watery bundles;
She takes comfort in the small
pools and chilled air
leaning against chin and wrists.
Flakes of snow string
to the ground, weave and fluff
the city’s dressing gown.
She doesn’t turn to the alien,
instead sighs straight ahead into frozen
stitches drifting in the street-light glow.
We won’t catch these in our mouths,
too dirty… A hand waves at the air,
swats a flake. She thinks of snowballs eaten
from the ground, a child’s cold teeth,
a full belly.
About the writer:
Natalie Young is a founding editor for the poetry magazine Sugar House Review. By day, she works as an art director for an ad agency based out of Salt Lake City. These poems are part of a manuscript that mixes factual scenery and history with speculative fiction, in order to explore peculiarities in human nature, culture, and environment. Poems from this series have been published in Green Mountains Review, The Midwest Quarterly, Rattle, South Dakota Review, Drunken Boat, Pilgrimage, Spillway, and others. Natalie is left-handed, half Puerto Rican, and a fan of Carol Burnett and broccoli.
Image: “Abstracted Blue Spruce #2” by Andrew Marshall. Watercolor on paper. 18 X 24 inches. By permission.
About the artist:
Andrew Marshall is a painter, writer, and photographer. His paintings, photographs, essays, and poetry have appeared or are forthcoming in OPEN: Journal of Arts and Letters, The Offbeat Magazine, Gravel Magazine, Trampset Magazine, The Raven’s Perch, Junto Magazine, West Texas Literary Review, Upventur.com, and Backpackinglight.com. Marshall’s work across all mediums is concerned with texture, light, atmosphere, moment, and man’s interaction with nature. He has lived in some beautiful places: the southern Appalachian mountains, the desert southwest, and now the eastern Sierra Nevadas. That beauty finds its way into his work. Marshall is a backpacker, mountain biker, and paddler. He’s trying to learn to boulder but he’s better at walking in a straight line than he is at climbing up a rock. Andrew Marshall has been living as a full time creator since the summer of 2017. Marshall is a featured artist at O:JA&L.