In The Jungle

In The Jungle by Valerie Parente

This is a jungle,
so new to me,
the rain doesn’t dry,
and I like the heat,
so don’t you dare,
try to mock me,
’cause I was spared,
from the lush green,
when all I wanted,
was to feel complete,
under the shade,
of nature’s canopy,
amongst the light,
between the trees,
in the jungle,
where we all came from,
in the jungle,
and I’ve just begun.

– Valerie Parente (5-18-2021)


Sick Cycle

Sick Cycle by Valerie Parente

The fear of intimacy comes from the fear of touch
and the fear of touch comes from the fear of germs
and the fear of germs comes from the fear of intimacy
and I’m stuck in a sick cycle of social chastity.

– Valerie Parente (9-20-2020)

My Own Fault

My Own Fault by Valerie Parente

When I was a little girl
I used to cry when a boy would tell me he had a crush on me.
I would become lightheaded and it was hard to breathe
and the only way to feel okay was to be so, so mean,
determined to make the nice boys feel sorry.

In my adult life
it’s been a lot easier to say that nobody is capable of loving me
than to accept the deeply twisted and tangled reality
that I make it near impossible for love to be received
because I am so unbelievably scared of intimacy.

So to the boys who had the nerve to ever be nice:
I apologize.
You didn’t do anything wrong and I wish you well.
You didn’t petrify me, I petrified myself.

– Valerie Parente (9-9-2020)


Off Limits

Self-Preservation by Valerie Parente

It’s not being prude
its self-preservation
it’s protecting thyself from everyone else
in an attempt to preserve
the life lessons I’ve earned
because what could be worse
than losing the individual I learned.

I swear, this fear of intimacy
is not a fear of what’s in me
it’s fear of a touch that might corrupt
everything I’ve ever dreamed of.
Because what happens when I open up?
Would it change the person I was?
I’ve spent a lifetime learning who I am
and I’m so deeply scared
of my worldview crumbling at another’s hand.

– Valerie Parente (1-3-2020)

Paradox Lock

Paradox Lock by Valerie Parente

I am tense where I am supposed to be open
So I pretend that this is a voluntary means of coping
Just a treasure I’ve been withholding.
But the truth is I have no control
of the impossible pain that takes its toll.

I am a lock who is supposed to love a key.
The very thing meant to set me free
is the same cause for my strong agony.
What they call the highest of highs
comes through me as the loneliest night.

I am exhausted when I am supposed to be energized.
They say this problem has psychological ties
manifesting as fear deep inside.
But if this is true then why can’t I recall
the very trauma that started this all?

For so long I was stuck with this mystery.
Where could I find this abnormality?
After they pointed out reality
I read into how this condition thrives
but I am still left wondering why.


– Valerie Parente (11-22-2017)