Imprecise Lament by Natalie Marino

Imprecise Lament

I was very young
when I first wanted
to take the mask off.

When I was ten
I loved to look
in the mirror

until I became strange
to my own self.

When I was twenty
I wanted to be
an everblooming fruit tree.

Now that I am middle aged
I am the mask.

I want to know
my body’s gravity,

the beauty of falling leaves
disappearing on the ground.

Hearing the hot jazz
playing at my open window,

I think of the last
sultry days of summer,

of dark sparrows somewhere
littering the fading sky
with their small song.


Natalie Marino is a poet and physician. Her work appears in Gigantic Sequins, Mom Egg Review, Plainsongs, Pleiades, Rust + Moth, Salt Hill, South Florida Poetry Journal, West Trestle Review and elsewhere. She is the author of the chapbook Under Memories of Stars (Finishing Line Press, 2023). She lives in California. You can find her online at or on Instagram @natalie_marino.

Menopause is a Metaphor by Natalie Marino

Menopause is a Metaphor

It is late in spring
when the evening sky

is a swollen orange
and the night flowers

whisper their small
languages to a city

of wind. When
the horizon

is a drawing in black
herringbone, I am a stone
painted pink.

Immovable obsidian
lives inside me,

even my imagination
is a dying orchid.

The light
of the moon
is not a light,

but a love note
to a field
of cypress trees.


Natalie Marino is a poet and physician. Her work appears in Bitter Oleander, Isele Magazine, Leon Literary Review, Rust and Moth, The Shore, Variant Literature, and elsewhere. Her chapbook, Memories of Stars, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press (June 2023). She lives in California.