Stephanie Valente – 3 POEMS

The Chant of Immigrant Girls

Sleigh bells & crystal quartz memories
hopeful first days with luck

the shimmering grit of a new city

Long bangs, glasses, perched lips
You know the road to somewhere,

and someone reminded you that
the earth is large and you are small

Heart beats & bicycle rides

your laughter comes out in whiskey
your life seems to exist on a subway swipe
along Transmitter Park

You can cage an idea
but, one day your body

will break out & taste occupied space

& not just a simple sentence

& realize, no you are not

you are not dead,

& your lungs expand,

the sleigh bells chime

& you exist.

* * * * *

moon witch

write the secrets in sepia ink:

old spells, love-hope, rituals

for prosperity.

recite the hymnal psalms:

what happened to all

of the dead young men?

write down your history:

if you could save all

of the boys from slaughter.

the words are enough

for swords but your arm

is tired —

by the time the knives

& pistols & drugs

arrive.

stand in the glow

of the moon light

with crystals & petals

it is the last offering

to keep the salted earth

free.

* * * * *

Drowsy Wishes

If you could,
you would turn eyes

the color of the moon.

What happens to a forgotten

ghost? Shelled, pitted,

and strewn?

When a voice is lost

to an echo, a puddle

in the dirt – where is the beloved?

In that moment, you swear

the earth stops and

your breath could choke.

Your ankle still turns,

and somewhere, all

of the creature still roam.

You, you are still

waiting for statues

to live.

* * * * *

 Stephanie lives in Brooklyn, New York. One day, she would like to be a silent film star. She is an assistant editor at Yes, Poetry and the fashion editor at Greenpointers. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from dotdotdash, Nano Fiction, LIES/ISLE, and Uphook Press. She can be found at http://kitschy.tumblr.com.

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