By Natalie Louise Tombasco

Girls, this calls for an excavation:
come with hard hats and field notes,
            sharp trowels and sieves. Brush the earth

            from ancient secrets, from the gold-clad wrist
that gestures toward rotten tooth truth—
did I lose half a day of skiing for this?

Some of you are beyond repair.
            But this is an emergency!
Axe down every palo santo tree in Peru.

These drunken chakras can’t take nine steps, heel-to-toe.
      Come with midnight margaritas, the Jesus juice. This
            morning I awoke with a stye in my third eye

            and a cryptic message in my inbox
and I’m not accusing her of visiting the Botánica
brimming hex-thoughts,

but she does walk Elvis, the goat, on a leash.
            I just noted her bone collector aura
doesn’t vibe with my 444 aura

and she shot this barracuda look.
Let us do bumps of caviar in peace!
            Girls, buy all the patchouli incense

            from East Meets West (I’ll Venmo later)
and summon the Lululemon gods
so that her camel toe quits its gouge.

By the way, I loved your spread in Playboy.
            It is the Age of Aquarius
and everyone knows the devil is subjective.

That the body politic can become
Hydra-headed, begging for cautery.
            Who will heal us? Who will cleanse us?
            Speed-dial the new-age shaman,
not the one with sideburns who day-jobs
as a hair extensionist, but the one in all white

like Chris Angel walking on a sound bath. Fernando
is a fraud with canned statements. Even better,
bring the medium

who comes in like Patricia Arquette
slinging an apple martini
            that’ll knock your socks off,

            who dismantles us with the double
cheek mwah mwah and sizes us up,
billowing smoke from an e-cigarette.

I can feel her energy,
            the bad juju shaking me through
the metal mesh onto a specimen tray.

As if the future can exist
in coffee grounds,
            she looks up from the cup

            smirking, “Your husband will never
emotionally fulfill you… ever.
Know that.” And I know

I should give the reading
            its space to linger in the summer air
but I go on and on and on

trying to prove it wrong,
planting upon the lawn, for all the neighbors
            to see, a cobalt-blue bottle tree.

Natalie Louise Tombasco is a poet from Staten Island, NY. She is a PhD candidate at Florida State University and serves as editor-in-chief of the Southeast Review. Recent work can be found in Best New Poets, Verse Daily, Gulf Coast, Black Warrior Review, Diode Poetry Journal, Copper Nickel, and The Cincinnati Review, among others. Her debut collection, MILK FOR GALL, has been selected as the winner of the 2023 Michael Waters Poetry Prize and will be published in Fall 2024 by Southern Indiana Review. Find out more at