I’m five foot four inches of loving everyone around me more than myself. I was born on August 31st, 1994, and at 30 seconds old I tore the tubes out of my mouth like a promise to my parents that I would always be a fighter.
Now I’m an advanced practitioner in self-defense; I have my mom’s eyes and my dad’s everything else; and the only thing they have in common with one another is not having the capacity to love me any harder. I’m a self-employed comedian. Ask me anything about anything and I’m pretty sure I could make it inappropriate or, inappropriate.
My favorite music is acoustic. It’s soft and honest, a lot like who I want to be. I think a lot about who I want to be and how I want to love, and what echo I want to resonate after someone says my name in a quiet room. Two years ago, I was diagnosed with a seemingly perpetual sadness that never accompanies me and accomplishment in the same thought. You will often find me in quiet rooms. And in mine, my bed settled with four pillows trying to soften the illusion that I won’t fall asleep by myself that night.
See, I’m a hopeless romantic and a remarkable athlete until a pretty girl with a nice smile walks by and I trip over my exhales trying to find the courage to say hello.
But I bet you I could make her laugh once I start talking.
So hi, I’m Valentina. I’m a lion-hearted depressive with short blonde hair and a weakness for hot chocolate and good books on rainy days. Many people say I’m one of the best huggers they’ve ever met. I love avocado, and seasoned shrimp, and I will be up every Friday night at 1:00am writing to subtilize the restlessness within me.
I will love you in a language you might not understand; please know that variance doesn’t measure weight. I’m 128lbs of waiting for someone to come along and tell me that I try hard enough, that I’m good enough, that I’m enough and all they need. I’m an unfinished poem, and a lover, and a fighter: stubbornly and steadily trying to convince myself that I’m all I’ll ever need.
You plead not guilty to all charges again.
You forget that most of last year is still rotten in my mouth.
You forget I can still taste the chalk outlines
under my tongue in the mornings.
You forget that the caution tape still hangs across my bed
like a warning for anyone trying to save me.
You forget that crime scenes and home
smell the same to me these days.
Like smoke. Like metal. Like empty.
Your mouth is the burial ground and the battle field.
Most war zones avoid being loved
but these lips remember your bloody kind of sacred.
Your teeth are tombstones with the names unreadable.
Your teeth are tombstones with the dates scratched out.
You morphed my voice into a leaking faucet.
You pushed me into rooms with no way out.
You led me to corners with music boxes
that only played your name.
You strung together cobwebs and
shadows that whispered like you.
Like please and more and yes.
Like kiss me and don’t and again.
There aren’t as many ways to forget someone
as you think there are.
So I set my house on fire
until your footsteps are only smoke and charcoal.
So I almost forget not to stay as it burns.
So I stop picking up the phone.
So I leave town and change my name
and learn not to talk about the mistakes
I fell in love with.
About the monster I fed with my own skin.
It genuinely baffles me when people ask, ‘how do you have time to read?’ because let me put it this way; how do you have time to hang out with friends, watch tv, go to parties, study until the break of dawn and then spend time with the family?
The answer’s pretty obvious. You make time.
Because if it’s something you enjoy doing or something you have to do, you’ll find a way to get around that there’s only 24-hours-in-a-day-thing.
were bridges falling apart during an earthquake.
That every time you reach for someone’s sternum
they fall off and you end up kissing your nail-polished toes,
wishing it would stay unshakable, water proof.
I’m sorry, your capacity underwater is a minute and a half
but you said your lungs can spend every second,
with your mouth of how much you love him
even if your clothes are drenched from all the lies and saltiness of his tongue.
Even if a candle is begging you to look a little farther away,
and see that you are worth the sun.
That the conglomeration of things that floats under bridges
envy you for being close to the heavens
because you can hold the burning in your hands. You, my darling,
you are every droplet of water from your tattered dress,
if you just learn how to walk away from the shoreline. Just try.
Leave him back to the island were your hands knew more fingers than your own,
and remind your arms how to hold your body for awhile.
If the water from your sink had the sands washed away,
the very air knocked out of your lungs will come back.
Wipe the fog deep into your skin.
Reach out with your fingers.
You are not the earthquake in “I’m sorry’s” and drenched mascaras,
you might be broken because you floated away but so did the ocean.”
I would take out every band-aid of every girl who has purple skins and have the one given to them by their mothers wrapped around them like a lover. They will walk down the street without bite marks and five-packs cigarette smells.
I would knock on every door who has a child with his hands around his ears just to cover up the fire-truck silence between his parents’ throat. I will tell him that it is not his fault if they no longer share the same toothbrush. They just forgot to tell him that.
If a girl with a set of broken fingernails misses out one of her classes because the boy she liked forced her stripped down all her price tag clothes, I will put up the definition of No on the black board and explain to him that it does not mean Maybe and not even close to mean Yes.
Whenever a boy comes home with his sleeves inside his mouth, I would take it out and tell him that the janitor closet is not a place for someone as beautiful as him and his body is not a folding table. For once in his life, I would teach him how to throw a punch because his father never did.
I would put up a suicide phone call hotline and listen to every rugged sigh and static until I hear a breathing that is more than life. I will not tell them to stop saying sorry. Not until they realize that they are saying it to themselves.”
standing on everyone’s back like that.
Every heart has turned into a siren,
every skull has filled with train tracks
and the daydreams riding them,
trying to get away from a place like this.
You finally have the loudest voice here,
but your language is so dirty
that no one else even wants to speak it.”