city of mine

Natalie D.C.

this city of mine is:

stomping on lanternflies

while calling for a ceasefire,

chili dog dripping down my chin

while rushing to my orthodontist.

it’s daunting when

i sit in masked-up silence

while the bus hums beneath my feet

& i’m thrumming with adrenaline

from the boba tea i wasn’t supposed to get.

this city of mine is:

a man in pajama pants swinging a

broken branch against a

deceased tree while another man 

snoozes in a hammock next to the library.

it’s daunting when

i witness a woman feel free 

enough to wear scarlet boots, fur pressed

atop a graveyard of ladybugs as she stands

next to a fire hydrant that houses

the leftovers of a person:

a half-eaten lunch, &

a still-lit cigarette.

Natalie D.C. (she/her) is a 21-year-old artist and writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. Her writing grapples with her erratic mental health and queer half-Moroccan identity. She has been published in ALOCASIA, Porridge Magazine, Pile Press, Art, Strike! and elsewhere. When she isn’t busy working towards her BA in Public & Professional Writing, you can usually find her re-reading her favorite book over and over, baking with her little sister or filling her walls with anything and everything that makes her smile. Her debut poetry chapbook, blue pearl, is available for purchase from Bottlecap Press. You can find more of her work at