Jackalope

Jackalope by Valerie Parente

You’re just a mythical thing
a hybrid through taxidermy
jackrabbit ears
antlers that pierce
formulated after death
a concept used to make sense
of the world we don’t know
my dear jackalope.

You’re just a mythical thing
you screwed me up that morning
that’s why I’m a creature of the night
but that pain will not define
the way you broke me down
so broken but whole now
a fusion of my dual states
dark and light in the same place.

You’re just a mythical thing
two real entities mixing
to make one hell of a tall tale
and my mind went off the rails
a little truth behind the love
a little make-believe teenage crush
you got out, never quite mine
I had grace but I was chaos inside.

You’re just a mythical thing
made from the backstabbing
you don’t know me
you know a girl so naive
when I had you in my palm
before we sabotaged it all
but I’m content tonight
I found someone that felt right.

You’re just a mythical thing
my omen, my warning
you don’t play God with nature
you don’t tamper with your maker
that’s when you lose your appetite
become emaciated over night
that was no way to live
nearly got myself killed.

You’re just a mythical thing
a story I was telling
now you’re a thing of the past
and I won’t bring that pain back
a little bit of truth combined
became a tall tale over time
and I’m okay letting go
farewell, dear jackalope.

– Valerie Parente (6-6-2021)

Not Too Little, But Definitely Too Late

Not Too Little, But Definitely Too Late by Valerie Parente

Like a memory bank
I always had you in the back of my mind
convinced that one day
I’d find the courage to finalize
what always made an imprint on my brain
in ways I didn’t fully realize
until it was way too late
and I no longer had the right
to say what I always wanted to say
once my hunch was clarified.
I made a critical mistake
strictly following my own timeline
I carved out a space
in the shape I had been traumatized
and I forgot in my craze
that I could pause my own life
but that does not initiate
the freezing of someone else’s time.

Like a broken gift
I always knew there was something wrong with me
so hyper-focused
on my emotional needs
memorizing feelings like scripts
ripped out of a teenage diary
daydreaming on autopilot
as I wrote detailed stories
to compensate for what I missed
heart-flutters in my memory
and I always kind of wished
that I could satisfy an old belief
my daydreaming brain’s secret
that once again we could meet
but I’m not supposed to talk about this
even though I remember you so clearly;
I guess that’s why from age 13 to 26
they called me a psychotic freak.

– Valerie Parente (11-14-2020)

There Might Be More To Me Than The Emotions I Keep

There Might Be More To Me Than The Emotions I Keep by Valerie Parente

My feelings aren’t as complicated as my mind is making them
with this dissonant narration.
I’ve been caught in a loop
about a story I wanted to be true.

You see my brain does this thing where it prioritizes my feelings
over logic and reason.
Making a stable personality
the most dominant part of me.

Meanwhile I have these thoughts, irrational obsessions that haunt.
For years they were caught
associating you with my name
but now my emotions have changed.

Now my ego is anxious, though it’s really quite simplistic.
No matter how much I resist it
I know I’m moving on
whether I like it or not.

The truth is, I think it’s scary that there might be more to me
than the emotions I keep.
If I get over how I felt
then how do I define myself?

But then I think of how happy I can be now that I’ve set myself free
from that same old story.

Valerie The Doll

– Valerie Parente (1-31-2018)