Natalie Schriefer

On the Advent of Artificial Light

on van Gogh’s Starry Night over the Rhône


The night is brighter now.

Gaslight from town glitters

russet over the Rhône, shimmering,

encroaching upon the far bank

and revealing the prows

of vessels moored along the shore.


Overhead the stars bloom

like celestial alliums—or maybe

they’re dandelions instead:

pale seed heads not yet

blown away by copper gaslight,

by the approaching breath of dawn.



Natalie Schriefer received her MFA from Southern Connecticut State University. Her work has appeared on MTV and in Room, Into the Void, and Connecticut River Review, among others. She works as a freelance writer and editor. Home base: