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September 30th, 2010 - Joanna C. Valente

There isn’t a sun

anymore so I buy us

an umbrella and I give the man


and I see my mother

and she is yelling, why

did you do this to me?


Money is only a symbol

of power but not actually all the things

I want—which really just means

[ everything ]

that makes up you

even the parts outside

your body that I can’t touch

or see

which is lucky

because I have no money

and the umbrella sways

and there is no way

to translate and I just want

you to understand

exactly what my body knows

that even I don’t.

We are too human

but not human enough.

You are sweating and admit

what you’ve never touched

and how you’ve never


and I want to take

your hands and show you

all the ways you can,

the ways I have,

how little I know and

the sun has died

before we could ever know

light before rain.


Joanna C. Valente is a human who lives in Brooklyn, New York. Joanna is the author of Sirs & Madams (Aldrich Press, 2014), The Gods Are Dead (Deadly Chaps Press, 2015) Marys of the Sea (The Operating System, 2017), Xenos (Agape Editions, 2016), Sexting Ghosts (Unknown Press, 2018), No(body) (Madhouse Press, 2019), and #Survivor (The Operating System, 2020). They are the editor of A Shadow Map: Writing By Survivors of Sexual Assault (CCM, 2017), and received a MFA in writing at Sarah Lawrence College. Joanna is also the founder of Yes, Poetry, as well as the senior managing editor for Luna Luna Magazine.


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