When I edit my manuscript
I put the poems with that old plum pit hate
into the waste bin
with the to-do lists
is more cringe-worthy
than the self.
I can say it now.
When the editor rejected my poem
about how immature I thought you were
I was appalled.
These were the days during which I could not separate
who I was
from what I felt.
I mistook every thought born from emotion for art.
Looking back I should have written that you were kind and
I am grateful
you made it easy for me to let go.
This morning I saw a blue heron
lunge his beak into the lily pads
for a fish he did not catch.
He repeated this many times until the breeze picked up
and it was time to move
In his absence
the surface of the river
remained in motion and
my lungs were cousin
to the rhythm.
Photo by Adrien Converse.
Natalli Amato is the author of the poetry collections On a Windless Night (Ra Press, 2019) and Burning Barrel (Finishing Line Press, 2022). Her poetry has appeared in several anthologies and numerous literary publications, and she is also a poetry reader for Carve Magazine. Natalli currently writes for Rolling Stone and Taste of Country. She lives in Sackets Harbor, New York.