our city is surrounded, in flames
i write our names in the night sky, why? will it
means something, if at all?

it might be over now, or a new chapter, because
lover, i haven’t read the ending yet
the people are in crow-faced masks, and we’re gods,
but in someone else’s story

will you take charge? a mustang all wild and free?
i am north stars and silver-painted lips, this dream
is crazy all over: planets bursting, our love is war,
our war is love and pretty armor, i’ll sacrifice a few
drops of blood, if you sing to an oracle,

look into the canyons: songs, sages, and crystals, maybe
they’ll help, or arrows and famine will follow in silk scarves
either way, it’ll be beautiful, that kind of charm,
or just suffering, maybe we’ll lose our minds
when we’re lost, i want to know: am i funny? is any of this funny?

you think i’m magic, but i’m not that kind of spell,
we’re oil and darkness, and the flames circle us like crowns
what i can promise is: death rides a white horse, and death,
she arrives on her own time.


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: stephanievalente.com / twitter.com/nouvelle.