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Writing process of a poet during Mcsway's Identity Workshops.

Author: Natalie Co

Prompts: "A song that changed your brain chemistry" + "A time it became clear you were different"


First Draft


A rough draft handwritten on lined paper. Doodles, scansions and corrections visible on the page. By Natalie Co.

Third Draft


Final Draft



I know it all, I know the end:

I’ll dance with you again.

I’m calling out, I feel your song

Embrace my bones each day.

I’m craning my head, I’ll dance when I’m dead,

Alive, I am your dust.

I’ll run away soon beneath the moon,

Forever in your light.

Yet here I stand on solid Earth,

Yet here I swim unmoored.

This sweet-cruel life is dear to me

And now my thoughts, they swirl.

This too shall pass, my hope, my pain,

I’ll sing down to Earth once again.

With one last sigh, they’ll shed their flesh,

The souls down there will join me here.

They shine just like you, they make me bright,

They all have a purpose too.

I’ll miss them all, but not for long–

Till then, I’ll send them light.

I know it all, I know the end,

And now it all makes sense:

We’re all still here across the planes,

There is no end in sight–

And now my eyes begin to dim

As you glow bright above;

My breath departs

And my heart won’t start;

The silent truth is ether-clear:

I love you Mom, I love you dad,

To Alex, the kitties, I love you too,

And I’ll miss the ocean blue.

But now it’s time, I’ve got to go–

The night sky yearns, she calls me home.

Soft, dreamy painting of a bright full moon with a gentle face in a blue and purple sky. A white cat looks up at it with its back to the viewer. By Natalie Co.

Photos and illustration by Natalie Co.

19 years ago, Natalie Co arrived on the shores of Vancouver atop a seashell, inspiring Botticelli to paint The Birth of Venus. She likes cats, Phoebe Bridgers, and the moon.


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