Natalie Louise Tombasco


Oh fern-green girly girl, you’ve chewed mother up
real good—her cartilage & sinew gorged on
her freckles, your own blood. What a predicament.

What is your alibi? You’ve engulfed something
beautiful, tortured, remorseless—something like
the Atlantic. Swallow air to hold down a spit & acid

drenched ear so it’s not coughed up as if to say,
“I heard that.” It’s a shame you’re being hollowed-out,
femurs & arteries gone. She sits in your gut, sucking

the last of the intestines through a paper straw.
Bigbad girl, you’ve tried to embarrass her
into change, but you needed animal tracks

leading to fuschia chrysalis, to love.

Natalie Louise Tombasco received an MFA in poetry at Butler University in Indianapolis, IN, where she was a reader for Booth: A Journal and will begin to pursue a PhD in Creative Writing at Florida State University in Fall 2019. Her poems have appeared in The Minnesota Review, Antioch Review, Southwest Review, Sonora Review, The Pinch, Meridian, Salt Hill, among others. She was a runner-up in The 2019 Pinch Literary Awards in Poetry. Tombasco is from Staten Island, NY.