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Cleyvis Natera

Cleyvis Natera was born in the Dominican Republic, migrated to the United States at ten years old, and grew up in New York City. She holds a BA from Skidmore College and an MFA from New York University. Her writing has won awards and fellowships from PEN America, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Kenyon Review’s Writers Workshops, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She lives with her husband and two young children in Montclair, New Jersey. Neruda on the Park is her first novel.

from Neruda on the Park

Eusebia pushed the laundry cart out of the building. It was so heavy she had to use the strength of her entire body as she got it through to the sidewalk. The noise from the construction started at exactly 7 A.M., as she crossed the street into Nothar Park. It was deafening. There was hammering and yelling, and huge machines that amplified all the noise. The dust that covered the cars, sidewalk, swings, trees, made its way to her eyes, her nose. She inhaled it. It scraped her nostrils, then her throat when she swallowed. The dust was a force that tried to slow her down, attacked her body particle by particle. She sped up, cutting through the dirt and avoiding the paved concrete path. The grass was yellow and dry, but the volunteers had planted various beautiful tulips, already in bloom, with pastel colors like ice cream. Peach on the outside, pineapple up top, inside. She wanted to peel off a petal, eat it.


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2023

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