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New poems by Valentina Cano


A Compression


Few minutes have felt like this,
with knife edges singing lullabies
and trumpets of slamming doors,
a solid fanfare.

Not many moments have seen words
coated in necklaces that glittered
like teeth in the dark.

I have no desire to relive them,
so I will throw this bouquet
of twisted seconds your way
with a note dripping in permanent marker.
Asking you to tip this day over
like a pan of used oil.


a line, (a blue one)


The Last Disappointment


It's over
you muttered in a voice
of sewn blades.
Ice, solid as aluminum panels,
lined your eyes,
shutters against the rage of
a storm that would not come.

I'm not going to battle,
not with you.
To fight would mean a boil of blood,
a burn that tears,
a shriek of anger that rips
like an ice pick.

I feel none of that.

My eyes are smooth,
my blood the reddest dead water.
Calm, trickling
through a broken faucet.


a line, (a blue one)




I used to know how to open the door.
Now, the knowledge
is pocked, red as pimples,
red as stop signs.
I bend over double
in an effort to fish it out
with claws of packed fears.

I try.
My hand grapples with hooks
and pieces of tin-foil that
have found a cemetery in my body.
The memory of how to speak with you
lies buried,
down under stomach lining.

To get to it,
I must zip myself open,
spill veins
like shoelaces to the floor.
I'm not willing.

Not for an open door.


a line, (a blue one)




I'm attempting to turn
myself inside out.

It's not going well.

The kitchen light doesn't want to burn
on my gleaming entrails,
on my blood,
spilled like nail polish on the counter.

The knives, the scissors
are talking back,
babbles of blades
that only sound like shrieks.

I fling them aside,
look for another tool
to peel myself open
with a crunch of skin.

Slip myself off
like a dress
one size too small.


a line, (a blue one)


Reflections in a Pool


He might turn his head
on its axle to look at you.

He could.

He might look, a stare
the color of ice water,
his smile a winter's horizon.

You see him and feel the
tide of salted emotions rise.

He sees you
sees all the intricate lacework
of nerves.

He flings out a hand to stop the view,
his skin cells expanding with the
heavy mirage of a
calm living room.


a line, (a blue one)


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