two poems


for years, i kept a banshee in my throat
at 20, i had my first cigarette
did you notice me? my dress? my lips?
did you like my presentation? was it pretty?

at 28, i stopped breathing, saw stars
was it too much for you
to drink tangerine juice from my palms?
these things are day dreams, i can’t help it
i took a moment for granted, i’m still not sorry
i bloomed: a scientist, strung a flurry of nebulas connected star-trails to some type of meaning, it was a good idea, wasn’t it?



the room breathed, it felt
like ancient sea glass and, he was sad-eyed,

palms covering his face until
  –with whose hands?–
purple sparkle-flecked peach nails
i peeled them away

the air felt wrapped,
in blue, my fingers so gentle
soft saffron

my amethyst geodes eyelids
he said my name, but only
baby, baby, baby

came out,
this stillness between us

like yellow roses,
his warm palms
at my side, we kissed

my lips soothing
his cheeks, let me,
kiss more,
kiss again

baby, what do you want me to do?

he appeared again, shook the trees
just to give me white flowers.

“Baby, what do you want me to do?” is an Elvis tune



Stephanie Athena Valente lives in Brooklyn, NY. Her published works include Hotel Ghost, waiting for the end of the world, and Little Fang (Bottlecap Press, 2015-2019). She has work included in Reality Hands, TL;DR, and Cosmonauts Avenue. She is the associate editor at Yes, Poetry. Sometimes, she feels human.


Back to Issue: Winter 2020