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Two poems by Natalie Padilla Young

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

he’s asleep.

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

sneaking up

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

after that

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,, 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

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