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Valentina Cano
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Tolls and Tokens

 

Valentina Cano

 

It’d be no trouble to

tumble down this escalator,

no green gape of fear,

no whisper of teary doubt.

I could just leap

like a cat off the counter,

arms extended or wrapped around my chest

depending on my mood.

My shoes could fall

and twist like lamed animals,

heads and heels bouncing against

the checkered floor.

 

I think I’d enjoy it,

that swim of concrete,

that trampoline of tiles.

Maybe I could even disappear,

blink out like a hot light suddenly exhausted.

Or twirl in the air faster and faster

until I am chopped in little pieces

and rain cell upon cell at your feet.

 

 

Sharp Objects

 

by Valentina Cano

 

 

I’d barely seen him,

his body angled like a knife

around the hallway,

his profile pushing the night back

like a flashlight.

My voice crystallized

and cracked into shards,

so when he spoke,

I had nothing to say.

Sometimes, even now,

I still feel like

I’m picking up glittering pieces.

 

 

Grief’s Shapes

 

by Valentina Cano

 

 

Healing, that’s what

I wished I could have seen

in your eyes.

Their bulge stretched,

wet with the fierceness

of a rubber ball bounced on a

drenched pavement.

I fought with myself and with you,

for a moment I could hold,

a pressed handkerchief of seconds

that wouldn’t unstitch in my hands.

It never happened.

Nothing healed.

 

 

Loss

 

by Valentina Cano

 

 

If I could find you,

see your face

through the tumbleweeds

that rush by me,

blocking my view,

I’d bring you back.

I’d pull you

like a note off a flute,

long, resonant, living.

I’d wrap you in arms

so shaken they’ve learned

Morse code.

If I could just find you

and bring you home.

 

 

The Caretaker

 

by Valentina Cano

 

 

I was patting your back,

a pressure like sunshine on your skin.

I meant to sap everything sharp,

everything that stung and oozed.

But my hands fumbled

and the illness spread

like a puddle through your bones.

I’ve tried to erase that moment,

but all I’ve managed to do

is scratch it in place.

 

 

Valentina Cano is a student of classical singing who spends whatever free time either writing or reading. Her works have appeared in Exercise Bowler, Blinking Cursor, Theory Train, Cartier Street Press, Berg Gasse 19, Precious Metals, A Handful of Dust, The Scarlet Sound, The Adroit Journal, Perceptions Literary Magazine, Welcome to Wherever, The Corner Club Press, Death Rattle, Danse Macabre, Subliminal Interiors, Generations Literary Journal, Super Poetry Highway, Stream Press, Stone Telling, Popshot, Golden Sparrow Literary Review, Rem Magazine, Structo, The 22 Magazine, The Black Fox Literary Magazine, Niteblade, Tuck Magazine, Ontologica, Congruent Spaces Magazine, Pipe Dream, Decades Review, Anatomy, Lowest of Chronicle, Muddy River Poetry Review, Lady Ink Magazine, White Masquerade Anthology, and Perhaps I'm Wrong About the World.

You can find her here: http://carabosseslibrary.blogspot.com

In Association with Fossil Publications