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so if there be peaches blooming at your breast

there be fists raining spring inside you






your arms are behind your back and your fingers are snakes she is plugging each of their mouths with her own your own tongue forks and tumbles out


you are 14 and you meet a jaguar he looks at your belly and chuckles places a warm paw against your stomach do you want to know how I lost my thumbs he asks


you open your bedside jar and accidentally let the foggy night inside crawl around your thigh well aren’t you just a myth of a woman she whispers tonguing her teeth


you stomp and the smoky mountains stretch out below your feet

that is what happens when the forgotten daughter speaks


if you was a well-timed scream

you was a death dreaming of its nascence






NATALIE SHARP is a Black queer writer, dancer, and activist hailing from Savannah, GA and based in Denver, CO. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing with a concentration in poetry at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she also teaches undergraduate creative writing. She is invested in the power of poetry as a mode of both healing and reckoning. Natalie was a 2016 Pushcart Prize nominee and a 2017 Lambda Literary Emerging LGBTQ Voices Fellow in poetry. She was also a finalist for the 2017 Frontier Poetry Award for New Poets and is the 2018 Denver Mercury representative for the Women of the World Poetry Slam.

Natalie's work has previously appeared or is forthcoming in BOAAT Press, Juked, Puerto del Sol, Madcap Review, and elsewhere. You can follow her adventures in teaching, traveling, and performing on Instagram @short_sharp_shock. If you propose to her in a Waffle House, she will probably say yes.


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