for my name
so i awaken
the spell is:
i never felt
like a leader
i pulled earth,
teeth, and blood.
wolves like me
just don’t ask
for my truth.
think of me
in your room
in your vision,
we swam all night
with the horses
i want to tell everyone
that we braided
our hair into their manes
we made up our own language
we recorded our dreams
instead, i kept my palms
in one shape
just behind its neck,
i read that poem you told me about,
all goosebumps & uninvited parties
it made me dream: walking into the room,
watching you, watching me,
me in long-black clothes, at night,
with bad decisions in the air
there are other people:
other people with cocktail tumblers
forgettable music & relationship problems
& suburban secrets
someone’s hot, heavy skin
in a house that doesn’t belong to either of us
because nothing belongs to no one,
not you, or me, or your marriage
or my lips at your wife’s neck,
no, nothing is mine or yours or ours
i want you to tell me about the poem again,
how nothing belongs to us
you love retelling it with a smile,
as if it discounts the lion blood in my stars.
this is when language turns rogue:
a glass splinter grows in the back of your throat.
all i know is, when it rains,
the foxes retreat & i am dew all over.
the glass shifts, i have a body
but, i don’t know what it feels like ~
Stephanie Valente’s waiting for the end of the world takes places between the world of the living and the dead. Inspired by the major arcana tarot cards, the poems explores the unstoppable forces of urgency, love, sex, desire, longing, and identity.
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