Natural? By Josh Dale


Natural? fluorescence.
Natural? flavors.
Natural? extracts.
Natural? coloring.
Natural? ingredients.
Natural? humans.
We smile at the artifice
and the artificial flavors
without a real-life dinner
and a kiss of cancer

I never feel the need to catalog
because Whitman did it for me.
Grab the hilt and walk with me,
And don’t apologize,
You’re dying too.
Everything has been through me,
Fucked up and contrived into me.
And exhaled from me,
aspirated off me.

I don’t deal in absolutes
but I advise you to stay off
the Astroturf.
It is not Whitmanian,
it does not breathe our air.
The plush isn’t authentic,
But it is so enticing,
and smells like deceit.

By Josh Dale


Josh Dale holds a BA in English from Temple University and has been previously published or forthcoming in 48th Street Press, April Gloaming Publishing, Black Elephant Literary Magazine, SickLit, The Scarlet Leaf Review, Your One Phone Call, and others. If he’s not petting his rescue Bengal, Daisy, he is perfecting his stir-fry recipe, hunched over in the dark like an alchemist. He is the founder and current editor-in-chief of Thirty West Publishing House and Tilde: A Literary Journal.

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