Natalie Young 

by More Than Just Tears and Empty Ice Cube Trays,
the Human Addresses the Alien’s Water Experiments

Common Grackle Flying in Front of Surf by Andrew Marshall

Did you know the ocean’s pH
is nearly identical to human blood?

Which feels true,
though it’s probably a myth.

What does every piece of life
come down to?

Two hydrogen atoms
to an oxygen.

That’s a lot of pressure
for three molecules.

Fascination is understandable
even obsession.

And yet
no matter the small hinge
this all rests on

you can’t alter chemistry—
the way water never changes

its constant


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: Common Grackle Flying in Front of Surf by Andrew Marshall. Watercolor. 9 x 12 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.