Stephanie Athena Valente

I’ve Been to Bigger Forests

With Even Bigger Secrets

it’s true what they say: the forest keeps the secrets of the universe
of course, i can’t say where or how, that would be breaking the contract

darling, i signed my name away long ago. we all did.
you didn’t get the paperwork yet. it’s full of dark howls and gray shadows.
it’s full of jewels and songs. it’s full of night in its endless pearls.

i hope, when you get to the end, you don’t miss the last clause.
darling, it’s important. read harder. the real joke is: we are the ghosts.
stop hiding. you’re only hiding from yourself.

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.

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