Prose Poem in Salima Magazine 


by Natalie Horberg (March 2021)

On a Sunday evening, I lay still, my head heavy on a pile of white pillows. A small sun appears hazily through the living room windows, its hot light seeping onto the floor. I try to synchronize my breathing to the faint tick of a car alarm outside. I fail. Days have always been longer than I want them to be. 

Then I remember: there’s a slice of cheesecake in the fridge with a lime wedge on top. It’s from Pila’s birthday party a week ago. I’ve been saving it but now I wonder if it’s gone bad, if I should throw it out. 

I open the heavy refrigerator door. Steel. Stainless. Cold. On a thin crumb-covered plate, the slice of grey cake shrinks away, struggling to avoid my gaze. I think, It’s only been a week. I carry it to the counter slowly, realizing I forgot to turn on the kitchen light. Daring me to try a bite, the lime wedge, shriveled and green, grins at me in total darkness. I stamp my foot down on the cool tile floor. The pain surprises me. It shoots up my calf through my spine. Thrusting open the silverware drawer I grab a fork and stab the cake, again and again. And it’s glorious.

Poem in Rookie Magazine

She Told Me I Was Brave

by Natalie Horberg (July 2017)

Our origin stories
are always
because as time goes on
we see the past
and we recognize
that helped us grow
she said,
So although you might
feel weak now,
you could see that
you are actually
a very