My therapist says I carry unresolved grief.
She says I need to focus more on what
I can change.
Awake at five in the morning again,
I can’t stop thinking about how long
we lived through drought,
how last summer California’s temperatures
were higher than they had ever been.
And then the winter rains came,
bringing with them fields of poppies.
Outside my open window
the sky turns into a scarf of spring brilliance,
a show of striking beauty.
I want to hold onto hope
but I can’t tune out the howl of a single coyote,
blue as a piano.
A Little Love Letter to Southern California in Summer
In a wide field
burnt a dark brown
towards the sun—
pretty like a ripe
peach falling down
in pink smog.
Natalie Marino is a poet and physician. Her work appeared in the inaugural issue of Anacapa Review, and also appears in Atlas and Alice, Gigantic Sequins, Isele Magazine, Mom Egg Review, Plainsongs, Pleiades, Rust + Moth, West Trestle Review and elsewhere. She is the author of the chapbook Under Memories of Stars (Finishing Line Press, 2023). She lives in California. (Congratulations, Natalie, on being the first poet to appear twice in this journal!)