Fall Was Once Fire Season in Los Angeles

I open 
a window 

to a noon sun 
white with smog. 

The sky 
is a mute nightjar

dead tamaracks 

still planted 
in their own ruin.

was once

fire season 
in Los Angeles. 

Now all 
the days 

in June 
are burned 

and the news
is blue.

Portrait of Evening as Song

Nature’s low hum
is an alarm. A beluga 
is a blue night, 
rainbows of fish swim 
out of its mouth, past 
what’s left of the bright 
red coral deep 
in the ocean. 
The evening blazes 
pink as a star 
and children riding 
their bicycles 
at the seashore know 
it is time to come home, 
know when fishermen spear 
the last marine life 
even mothers will be gone, 
even the white dawn 
will be a silent city, 
a collection 
of broken shells.

About the Author:

Natalie Marino is a poet and physician. Her work appears in Bitter Oleander, Leon Literary Review, Midway Journal,  Rust and Moth, Shelia-Na-Gig online, The Shore, The UCity Review, Variant Literature, and elsewhere. Her chapbook, Memories of Stars, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. She lives in California.

Feature image by Christian Regg/Unsplash