Natasha is one of this platform’s true poets and I am so grateful she is here. I believe I’ve read everything she’s written over the past 4-5 years. When she offered this poem to me I was overwhelmed. I had originally asked that no poetry be submitted to this publication but, the moment I introduced that dictum, being a poet myself, I doubted the efficacy of that rule. Natasha’s submission made it clear I had been mistaken.

She knows (but the reader does not) that one tiny bit of work had to be done here. Nothing unusual for even the most experienced writer, as I’ve written about time and again. When I saw the “issue” I wondered, “What is this about?” because it created a very different kind of rhythm in the poem, not only for this one piece, but so different from what I remember of Natasha’s work previously.

I went back and reread it six or seven times to be certain of my own judgement. Then I went back to her work over the past year and re-read all of that to confirm that this “issue” stood out like the proverbial sore thumb.

And yet I still wondered if this was something either intentional or even, perhaps, subconsciously provided. The poem is so much about a disturbance of the very rhythms of one’s life, after all. So, back to the drawing board with this one item before publication. Just to be certain.

Natasha has found her own voice, something all writers hope for. And it speaks to us all.

Possessor of Paul Newman eyes. Author of many things straightforward and strange. Some of them appear here. “Women zai shuo ba” as the Mandarin say. Born 2016.

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