Stephanie Athena Valente


strung around my throat like
a love song, not just stones, they’re
power gems, blue orbs pulsating
from my ribs, my feet hitting hot
summer sand for the first time,
my body is meant to be here, no
i’ve never been in this land before,
only dreamed it up like kids in movies
even though i lied through my teeth,
even though my ancestors called
each night in potions + apparitions,
every grain of sand, sea foam bead,
polished rosary chain, lemon-perfume,
lost summer wine is me, i am here:
in this space, fleeting but forever,
being Sicilian is a poem.


this saturday, i’m on my back staring

feeling all of the nebulas, green flecks in your eyes
i could say that i want to wrap you up in small stars
to wrap you up in something that is dead
by the time is comes here, it’s nothing

i’m with you so i don’t have to think anymore
no, love, there is no point because,
we are inherited ghosts living on borrowed time

i am currents, galaxies, i believe
like it means something b/c i want it to

the feeling is being awake while i’m sleeping
i can’t move, so i’ll suck you off instead
all pearly skin, iridescent sex, magic on, in us

if you could make me come, the planets just collide
everything circles, my lips are still on your chest.

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.