Natalie Young


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

Abstracted Blue Spruce by Andrew Marshall

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. Natalie Young is the Featured Writer at O:JAS&L for November 2018.

Image: Abstracted Blue Spruce by Andrew Marshall. Watercolor. 18 x 14 inches. By 2018. By permission

About the artist:
Andrew Marshall is a painter, writer, and photographer living and working in the eastern Sierras. His paintings, photographs, essays, and poetry have appeared or are forthcoming in Open: The Journal of Arts & Letters, The Offbeat Magazine, Gravel Magazine, Trampset Magazine, The Raven’s Perch, Junto Magazine, West Texas Literary Review,, and Andrew Marshall is the Featured Artist at O:JA&L for November 2018.