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photograph of the author by Eliot Duncan.

November 24th, 2019

By Natalie Mariko


, but then u wake up, first tetrahedral glint thru pink flickers, bricolage, remembrances / half-sleep tossing / turning snaking like a long track back, back across hills distended in which every love / loss lives simultaneous / unbroken, no, it was a dream, forget it, dreaming / blinking, untethered world, hear thoughts / responsibilities / 10-hour workdays w/ midday acquaintances, u are untethered, u are floating in a simple soup, listen to voices ranting midmorning into the air like song, abyss-black mama-hair Night leaning awesome backwards / screaming insults into whimpering infants’ faces, u’ve played this scene, play, u are awake / rolling, breathe the thick broth in which u swim, what was that thing which for so short a time entranced u?, valley / great blustering indigo field, lavender as the day is long, cupped hands about a blaring trumpet sun, moonlight icicle-shattered @ a touch, necrotic sky peeling away in heaps, dripping cloudblue dragons / fireworks / birthing stars in a since dead lover, o gloating o prevailing wind / sea of want / boiling, this drinkable salt unconscious / wobbling, what island laid u drifted / hairy as a coconut, here in the stretching arms of a black canvas?,




Natalie Mariko is a poet & translator from New Jersey. She studied English & African Literature and Film @ the University of Cape Town. She is the former poetry editor of SAND Journal & currently lives in Berlin.  

but then u wake up, limping over the horizon / there is no lover, there is no sea, no sky, just a negative bank account, rent, light entertainment, glib, perfunctory, awake, the day before u to be crunched / snorted / expunged / wrung-sponge kind of day, there is only a stinking waste @ the end, enjoy it?, did u make enough of the perpetual waning?, maybe before the rot pile is settled u’ll message them, dating is disappointment in slow motion, no?, don’t, u sleep on it, home, slowly, curled like an armadillo, pretty, each second from the moment the door opens to the moment yr head hits the pillow, pretending, shuttered, pretending to be the tether, the hook that gathers the world in yr tooth / says u are a sky unfolded, u are OK, u are revealing / revealer / revealed, pretending w/ eyes shut, a prayer to enter the kingdom / bit by bit, u are received,

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