stephanie athena valente
what is the difference between knowing & not knowing?
i try to love, i love something like me,
so tightly, wound deep inside
i prefer older men who wrap me up
in their leather jackets, unzip the sleeves to the wrists
i palm their lips like simple cigarettes
they placed my voice in a clasped shell
rub my silk sleeved dress
call me aphrodite after hours
velvet & gin & my tiny laughter
masquerading in cups
i hide war crowns and eagles by the door
shed the iron cuffs, but let them trace the skin
it would be rude to wear shoes inside this house.
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, Maudlin House, and Cosmonauts Avenue. She is the associate editor at Yes, Poetry. Sometimes, she feels human. stephanievalente.com