Donald Trump Becoming President Means My Body is on a Witch Trial
You saw it coming as you flipped
to the next card, the present, the future.
Your body doesn’t know the better
option, only feels the burning in a blaze
of black fire in a thousand desiccating suns
as they die
heating the earth and the overwhelming
voice that fills your head says,
we deserve it.
I thought God was dead
when he grabbed my pussy & shoved
his cock inside a hole in my body
where it could fit
even when I said no, when my hands
flailed like the sun descending
erratically, making strange sounds
for this new world.
I watched as my people fell
from the sky out of long coffins
that rose from the ground
to where my mom told me angels
live, but I stopped believing in them
when the black smoke rose
and never left. Once, I asked the sky,
why did you leave us? Where are
your hands, where is the carcass
that holds the heart that houses
Where is the ocean that can’t live
I work for the newspapers.
When I was a child, I’d believe
in what the newspapers told me,
all those faces drowned, all those
men tearing other men apart
with glass soda bottles
in their bare hands, and this is when
I saw the moon vanish from the sky
and only the sun remained
and as a kid I thought this would be cool,
having eternal light,
but it hurt so much. It hurt too much.
Are we being punished? a child asks
her mother on the R train and the mother
shakes her head and looks at
the ground as if a snake or angel will appear.
She is not sure which. At this point,
she is not sure which is even
the better option.
Somewhere outside, a man
is lighting a cigarette, doesn’t understand
what he has done wrong. Somewhere, a child
sees a newspaper headline,
wonders if their dog could read, if
God looks like a dog and if that dog
could also read.
I see the child I grew in my uterus,
the same child who was never born
on the subway platform
and I don’t feel regret, only
bellyful of resentment for the men
who hate my body because of what
it can do. They try to stop it, control it,
and all I can do
is cackle while I push their heads
Joanna C. Valente is a human who lives in Brooklyn, New York. She is the author of Sirs & Madams (Aldrich Press, 2014), The Gods Are Dead (Deadly Chaps Press, 2015), Marys of the Sea (2016, ELJ Publications), & Xenos (2016, Agape Editions). She received her MFA in writing at Sarah Lawrence College. She is also the founder of Yes, Poetry, as well as the managing editor for Luna Luna Magazine and CCM. Some of her writing has appeared in Prelude, The Atlas Review, The Feminist Wire, BUST, Pouch, and elsewhere. She also teaches workshops at Brooklyn Poets.