Natalie Mulford grew up in Los Angeles. She has studied writing at Hampshire College, Idyllwild Arts, San Francisco City College, and the University of Iowa Writers Workshop Summer Program. She currently works at Ten Speed Press and lives at the base of Wildcat Canyon in the San Francisco Bay Area.
My sister’s 20 year old body
equals the age at which I will be dead times 10
Halve me you get my half-sister, my father divided in half
twice in two separate equations
Halve me, the decaying half-life, and get this quarter-life, the rest of her ratio a blank x on the page
Halve me and get possibility, a girl in a bikini painting red toe polish on by the pool
before her boyfriend comes over
I can almost make myself out in her face, glasses and nose wavering in July sunlight.
Him I don’t recognize, a stranger’s genes.
But he’s got the right math to multiply hers and outlive me forever.
Burnt umber baby
Lobster lunar landscape
Uterus lining the sun
The shape of an infant’s head
A year of waiting
The wholeness of a shadow of a thing