Natalie Sierra
Natalie Sierra was born in Southern California during the late ’80s. Growing up in a harsh neighborhood, she witnessed the arrival of drugs and gangs to her small town. After college, she traveled up and down the coast of her home state, writing about the brutality of nature, and the arid beauty that can only be described as California. She currently resides in Southern California, with her three young daughters, who she cites as an inspiration for her as an author, a Latina, and a feminist.

This Particular Side of Heaven

You wouldn’t believe the things that I have done just to feel alive

Swallowing thorny roses whole

Getting lost in museums

Clutching at a stranger’s hand and the cheap newspapers that were passed out to the crowds at the entrance

‘Mass Suicide’ in bold face across the top

The headlines rang alarm bells inside of me

Kiss him in front of ancient planks of cedar men used to conquer waves

So that when he leaves you firmly rooted in the past, he can’t enter the presence of the ocean again without remembering the ghost of your lips

I laid with him on the floor of his apartment

Among the books about the density of fog and the blissful, carefree days along The Great Highway

A brick of hash between us

Whispering in this gentle night as the coyotes wept outside his door

The brightness of the moon reflecting off the ocean

My heart swelled like the tides

Tangled in each other

My hair in his hair

His beard on my brow

Arm under my naked back

On that Mexican blanket he kept in that ancient German car

My Neil Young tape, still in his stereo

I suppose

I never went back for my possessions

A gallery of my belongings in that place where I left behind so much more than my books and tapes

He meant so much more than lust to me

I wish he could have seen that


(Originally published in Quail Bell Magazine)

 2017 Natalie Sierra
Natalie Sierra was a Featured Poet at the December 2017 Second Sunday Poetry Series