I am an old port— scalloped
with rowboats,
sea buckthorn & bellflower
                      colored townhomes.
                      Sold at cobblestone:
lutefisk & salted
                                herring on rye. 

I am a bronze mermaid voice
                 lost in the carousel’s
                               song of drift.

Foraging for urchin, scurvy­grass,
pickle rosehips,
            ferment blackcurrant.

I pull radishes from a hazelnut
                                & malt soil—
            a deep plunge crudités
of sheep­milk & tarragon.

                         I am symbiotic
with the naturalist, the botanist,

the chef, the farmer,
                         a sprig of pine.

        I am harbored in Earth,
scouring for cep­-dusted lichen
on a bed of moss.

                           I plate venison
        with snails

        & fiddlehead ferns—
                                a marinade

of where the animal slept.

But I am only                  a fiber
                     on the coastal tufts,

a module of salt
                  in an eddy. 

                        Nothing without
                          the rickety pier,

planted buoys
& fishing pole seedlings.

                             Only a speck
in the wharf’s catch,

the calm hurricane, the tired
                               ferris wheel.

Just a cluster of wild angelica,
falling madly

                           for a black hole. 



About the Author: Natalie Louise Tombasco is a current MFA candidate at Butler University in Indianapolis, IN, where she is a reader for Booth: A Journal. Tombasco is from Staten Island, NY.