Joanna Valente

Joanna C. Valente is a human who lives in Brooklyn, New York. She is the author of Sirs & Madams (Aldrich Press, 2014), The Gods Are Dead (Deadly Chaps Press, 2015), Marys of the Sea (forthcoming 2016, ELJ Publications) & Xenos (forthcoming 2017, Agape Editions). She received her MFA in writing at Sarah Lawrence College. She is also the founder of Yes, Poetry, as well as the chief editor for Luna Luna Magazine, where she curates personal essays, interviews, and writes about sexual assault, abortion, and Tarot. Some of her writing has appeared in Prelude, The Atlas Review, The Feminist Wire, The Huffington Post, Columbia Journal, and elsewhere. She has lead workshops at Brooklyn Poets.

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Your Only Son Is Dead

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Your only son’s head

came out of water, dripping fuchsia,

Marlboro reds,

the word fag ;;;

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boys lapped up in bodies just like his,

firebird

in reverb ;;; stole thunder bird to bust

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a town gut-jarred

—a transplant, headed

to desert: setting fire to his bone

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& watches how it disappears,

no dance

in flames—what is your rush

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The Art of Disappearing Is Hard to Master

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pppppppYesterday I rode over the George Washington Bridge

ppppppp[ using every inch of muscle to prevent myself from

pppppppjumping ]

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pppppppWater is all I know

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pppppppMother, I have not prepared myself for when my body

pppppppmolts / mutates until no longer human

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pppppppUnder cancer, I was born / my eyelids so thin just

pppppppscaly pupils & twilight networking under skin

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pppppppPlease put me out

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My Taste in Men Started Young

pppppppi.

pppppppWhen I found men,

pppppppI cut my lips red, devoured skyscrapers like air. When I pulled out of New York

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pppppppshe bled months’ worth of dead babies, red icicles left in

pppppppsubways.

pppppppii.

pppppppStarlings have begun to nest

pppppppelsewhere, crying me out of their hearts.

pppppppMy cunt smells dirty like East River water—crows caw until

pppppppeveryone’s faces become mine until I burn all faces full of faces into

pppppppmosaic,

ppppppprename myself X, Witch, Other—sirens blaring while I

pppppppvomit my body out until it all suffocates, waking to the

pppppppsound of birds.

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