Time… It Heals

“Is it true?”
“Is what true?”
“… That time heals the pain?”
“Yes, as time goes by you will smile at their memory instead of cry.”
“Is that because you start to forget about them?”
“No. You do not forget- you remember. You remember all those times together instead of that one moment you lost them.”

– Valerie Parente (1-6-2023)

Frostbite

Frostbite by Valerie Parente

I don’t think peace of mind
is meant for those alive.
There’s no such thing as closure
there’s only getting older
and though I say I pray for relief
there’s a stronger part of me
that’s encased in thick ice
from the post traumatic life
and I know if I let it melt away
I won’t know who I am today.

Here I am, frozen alive
and it is not a surprise.
To live is to identify with time,
to live is to be encased in ice
and it confuses most
that it feels far from cold.
When frostbitten on the skin
it feels like perpetual burning
and I never quite let go
of the warmth in my soul.

– Valerie Parente (1-2-2023)


Sunrise (A Fantasy Chronicle)

Sunrise (A Fantasy Chronicle) by Valerie Parente

Elissa grew up to be an enchantress
understanding the dark art of semantics
“Would you do it again?” her peers asked.
She declared, “I wouldn’t change the past
but I will tell you this of darkness
preach not what you practice.
It would be a grave mistake
to go out of your way
to create pain out of nothing
in an attempt to feel something.
Thou shall respond to darkness
while the sun sets
knowing the sun will rise again
along the horizon.”

– Valerie Parente (12-6-2022)

Not So Sweet

Not So Sweet by Valerie Parente

Everybody has a bit of a sweet tooth
looking for that candy-coated praise
you wanna call me your honey
but baby I’m an acquired taste.

Maybe I’m not so prone
to that “sweetie pie” catch phrase
I swear I care, I really do
but I’ll be damned if I’m cliche.

Love is hard but loving me is harder
past the honeymoon phase
I’m trying my damn best
but boy oh boy am I to blame.

– Valerie Parente (11-29-2022)

WITCH

WITCH by Valerie Parente

If I was held accountable
for all my INTRUSIVE THOUGHTS
they’d burn me at the stake
then call it an ACT of GOD.

– Valerie Parente (11-1-2022)

Caution Tape

Caution Tape by Valerie Parente

There’s caution tape
inside my mind
a labyrinth
of words and lines
wrapped around
like ivy or twine
and I don’t know
if I’m the type
to make the most
of warning signs
or if I’m simply
one of a kind
in a maze of trickery
I accidentally cosigned.
Maybe it’s wrong
maybe it’s right
maybe caution tape
is just a means to highlight
the potential in the darkness
that I can’t see inside
so I stand here guessing
what fate might decide.

– Valerie Parente (10-8-2022)

Paint The Stars With Blood (Part I)

Paint The Stars With Blood (Part I) by Valerie Parente

Elissa painted the stars with her blood
back when she was numb
a little crimson magic
for the sky’s fabric
stained on purpose
because the creepers said it would be worth it
so she fulfilled that prophecy
when she was so damn naive
illuminating the region
with stars the shapes of demons
but the sun eventually rose
and she could see she was alone
that’s when she found the strength
to no longer identify with pain
it was the bravest thing she ever did
deciding she was more than her emotions.

– Valerie Parente (9-6-2022)

the illness that wants me all to itself

the illness that wants me all to itself by Valerie Parente

There are voices in my head
that do not belong to me
and when you ask how I feel
I can feel them speak.
There is a pattern in the language
so ripe with irony,
“To be sick is strong,
to be healthy is weak.
The pain finds a cure
when you cut skin deep.
To be sober is trapped,
to be drunk is free.
When you avoid your fears
their power depletes.”
It’s as if by design,
this backwards philosophy,
and I have to share a home
with the voices on repeat.
But I am no lost cause,
I can still find my speech
and maybe that’s why
I can write it so easily.
This illness wants me all to itself
but it will never have entirety
because as long as I have a pen
I can differentiate between
a voice in my head
and the words that compete.

Valerie Parente (8-20-2022)

Haunted, Not Want It

Haunted, Not Want It by Valerie Parente

It’s not that I’m not over it,
it’s that I never got closure from it.
It’s not that I want what I almost had,
it’s that I’m haunted by the way it passed.
It’s never my intention to turn around,
I just wanna make the old me proud…

When it’s hard to tell the difference
between what you want
and what continues to haunt
I ask myself, am I the host or the witness
of a truth in my heart
or an obsessive thought?

The answer is always the same:
when I was half this age
I wanted exactly what I have in this day,
this longing is an addiction so dishonest
a state of mind of the haunted
and it can be debunked in this way:
having gratitude for today.

– Valerie Parente (8-19-2022)


Fire Games

Fire Games by Valerie Parente

“The thing about playing with fire,”
remarked the squire,
“is that, make no doubt,
you will get burnt out.
You played games
with dangerous flames
for over a decade
and you forgot that burns
never fully fade.
Be cool with your words,
you aren’t the young blood you once were.”

– Valerie Parente (8-5-2022)