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Natalli Amato

Natalli Amato is a poet, fiction writer, and journalist from upstate New York. She is the author of the poetry collections On a Windless Night, Burning Barrel, and Gone Walking and Other Departures. Her poetry is deeply inspired by the North Country region of New York State where she grew up and continues to be drawn to. Her poetry has been twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize. You can read her work at


In the dream,
he comes back.

In the dream,
he comes back
& I embrace him.

I say this to a therapist
& I’m out 125 dollars
just to hear her say,
Hold space for this.

Do I mean to be so cynical?


For a time I purged that reflex.

For a time I stood in the backyard,
night grass under my feet,
& I held a tissue-thin paper lantern in my hands
while he lit the proper place on fire
& together we watched it rise with heat
into the night, above the willow trees, above the brush-shit woods,
& he probably held my hand or something
because I remember we were talking about the Mars Rover,
how we hoped it wasn’t lonely,
how we wished the same thing for our little lantern,
getting smaller and smaller still,
& by the grace of God that lantern kept moving
& it didn’t burn a damn thing down.


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