Dominatrix
Joanna C. Valente

July 30, 2015


an old man calls me
on the phone each night;
i wear doves on my feet

to please him

& cover myself with light
soft like curtains. somewhere, i am still
a virgin

{

ashamed of the word
woman

of animals that eat
their young

to preserve some
youth that never
existed

women are
destructive

especially when
they are not effortlessly

skinny

as pine needles
still stuck to bark

}

in my belly i carry
accumulation of years

& fights

as careless as
evolution

turning daisies
to coyotes

to humans who sixty
years took to learn
the vehicle

& sometimes i pick up
the keys not knowing
what they’re for

 


Joanna C. Valente is sometimes a mermaid and sometimes a human. She is the author of Sirs & Madams (Aldrich Press, 2014) and received her MFA at Sarah Lawrence College. Her second full-length collection Marys of the Sea is forthcoming from ELJ Publications in 2016. She also has two chapbooks, The Gods Are Dead & Xenos, forthcoming from Deadly Chaps Press and Imaginary Friend Press. Some of her work appears, or is forthcoming, in The Huffington PostColumbia Journal, among others. She founded Yes, Poetry in 2010, and is the Managing Editor for Luna Luna Magazine. Her ghost resides at her website: joannavalente.com.

What motivates her to create:
“Telling truth, empowering the voiceless, advocating for women are all my motivations for writing.”