He never howls when he’s awake.
When everything depends—has always depended on acting like nothing is wrong.
—Kate Greenstreet, from “2 of Swords”
Teeth brushed directly after
a radish. The effect unexpected. Unexpected like
my small dog howling in his sleep
a sound so full
I reach out and tell him
Dream howls were rare
before our big dog died. That’s the sort of thing
one must watch out for:
what you can’t choose
the reactions you don’t know are happening
mix with what you do
choose and love
and chew. Everything tastes red and blue. The air
is the same
as yesterday, as always, give or take a pollutant
or two. Somedays it’s still
harder to breathe. The next day, today, the one
the world moves along
as though just another dog died. And it’s you
who’s spitting purple
into the sink. Only you.
Sun Made Himself Scarce
The snow held its sword at the ready long after it should have waved its white
flag, slobbered off
down the street. And who can blame me when I thought he was a peeping tom whenever he showed up—
that flushed feel of someone watching?
I wasn’t offended when you cursed.
We waited on those tulips for months.
Natalie Padilla Young co-founded and manages the poetry magazine Sugar House Review. By day, she works as an art director for a Salt Lake City ad agency. Her first book All of This Was Once Under Water is forthcoming from Quarter Press (early 2023). Natalie’s poetry has appeared in Green Mountains Review, Tampa Review, Rattle, South Dakota Review, Los Angeles Times, Tar River Poetry, Terrain.org, and elsewhere. Natalie serves on the boards of Utah Arts andLightscatter Press. She lives in southern Utah with the poet Nano Taggart and two dogs. Find more atNatalieYoungArts.com.