In quiet acceleration you drove.
Left behind sprinklers
bare feet racing to sirens
mating cats in the alley.
You left a house filled with curtains
wooden spoons
your name.

You were dark
always squinting something awful
through your eyes.
Bruises disturbed your inkblot face
credibility for the insane.
I was seven
buck teeth towhead
hard to feed insomniac.

That night you gave up
crawled into my room
after mixing cigarettes with men
wearing perfume for the whore
polluting the air.

You swayed above me.
Beads of sweat on your neck
glistened a string of white lights
around your tree.
Cherry flavor wax candy lips
sucked dry by whiskey fumes
kissed me once for goodnight
once for goodbye.

Through my pillow
I could feel the garage vibrate
your Nova engine rolled
asphalt still chewy
from July’s heat.

Echo of an echo
your life faded into slumber
haunted my mind’s cave
preserved for harvest bloom.

You left three dead kittens
tied in knots
placenta thicker than my hands
could pull apart.
We buried ourselves
next to the robin who fell
dog who hung
a tail
from a goldfish

Night is never good to me.
Under the covers
static electricity
my only light
my shame.

Chachee Valentine’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Stolen Island Review, Lullwater Review, Fugue, P’an Ku, In-Site Magazine, Words & Images, Alchemy, Prairie Margins, Askew, The Bitchin’ Kitsch and Eunoia Review. Chachee attends Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM, for her BFA in Creative Writing in Spring ’22.

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