at my throat,
pink wine drips
on my clavicle,
for lost lovers.
IN THE MIDDLE OF AN APOCALYPSE: A PORTRAIT
who are you? in this world,
don’t you like my short hair all haphazard? when i hid
the knife in my boot & i ate all of the canned peaches,
it wasn’t for the greater good. i’m not sorry,
for leaving the empty cans in cabinets. gasoline isn’t
a commodity when no one is in the business of living.
yes, darling — i could love you. dirt under my fingernails,
we don’t have time for an extra crisis. the trees are still
beautiful, and they are still trees. i keep a dress
in my backpack for the safekeeping of memory. i prefer
to sleep in my shoes. the birds still sing. the birds
are still beautiful. i see the sky turn midnight blue to
purple to a cocktail pink. it is all beautiful. the people
are swollen and the color of eggplants. love me.
because something should be dreadful. love me.
in the middle of the end. because i won’t.
SEXTING YOUR DEAD LOVER
sext: are you lonely?
sext: i miss my pink razr
sext: do you want seamless?
sext: is this a heart attack?
sext: new phone, who’s this?
sext: i’m a ghost
sext: free trash can, left on curb
sext: love and death is overrated tbh
sext: k thx
sext: netflix & go home
THEY CAME WITH GUNS
it happened when we weren’t looking.
or, not looking hard enough.
too busy staring at blue screens,
broken windows, no palm trees.
i said i love you & i thought i meant it,
really, darling, it was a passing fantasy.
think about it:
would i lie from this side of the barrel?
we’re in the middle of a 14-day trial: just scientists trying to engineer their own stars in a lab. you put raspberries in a bowl & the wet bowl against my palms. i want to put my lips somewhere. you ask me to come closer. a new position: somewhere between your slut & your wife. i haven’t quite figured it out yet. they both seem delicious.
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.