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)


Shadow Sign

Shadow Sign by Valerie Parente

Shadow Sign
you weren’t the light of my life
you were just the shape in which I had been traumatized
I thought you were what I wanted
after all these years of being haunted
because the truth of the matter is
I was never really his
and that unofficial kind of bliss
had me tracing my steps with darkness.

Because Shadow Sign
you were never mine
and with your outline I realize
you weren’t the problem, you were its signal
not something that I was ever meant to rekindle
a simplification of the self
implied light from somewhere else
and that’s the truth to mental health
I looked for love when what I needed was help.

– Valerie Parente (7-21-2021)

Venus Fly Trap

Venus Fly Trap by Valerie Parente

I don’t want to, but I snap
so quick and so crass
locked shut from the past
a paradox I haven’t grasped
because if I wasn’t grabbed
then why do I feel attacked
involuntary and so fast
before I get the chance to relax
like a venus fly trap.

Years of tension so compact
maybe this is what lasts
when you’ve been broken in half
but now I’m more than that
so happy and on track
I guess the trauma stays intact
muscle memories I don’t have
these lips seal in a flash
like a venus fly trap.

This struggle is meant to pass
and I’m going to achieve this task
learn to bloom instead of clasp
I’m still a flower, if you must ask
blossoming among the grass
so much beauty in this craft
with a love so matter of fact
kiss me and I’ll kiss back
like a venus fly trap.

– Valerie Parente (6-6-2021)

Too Much Loss For One Year

Too Much Loss For One Year by Valerie Parente

This has been a really devastating year
with more loss than our brains can comprehend,
some said with goodbyes
some with unfinished sentences.
It’s not that we’re okay with the loss,
it’s that we didn’t have a chance to lament.
It’s not that we’re dwelling in the past,
it’s that there was no proper end.
And it’s not that I’m mad or insensitive,
but there are some goodbyes I simply cannot accept.
Some explanations are not just explanations
but a farewell, my dear friend.
And I guess the collective conscience within all of us
is learning a very hard lesson,
that the world will keep on turning
no matter who’s lost interest.

– Valerie Parente (10-17-2020)

The Time Is Up

The Time Is Up by Valerie Parente

In 2 months you’ll be able to breathe again.
In 2 months you’ll remember the fallen.
In 2 months you’ll learn to live with yourself.
In 2 months you’ll realize what really counts.
In 2 months you’ll find a reason to laugh.
In 2 months you’ll rise above your past.
Because this is God’s way of saying the time is up,
time to come face to face with your fears
time to get to know the mind you’ve been avoiding for 25 years
time to feel the discomfort that matures you through loneliness
time to master your trauma like a true artist
time to look inward for gratification
time to make those long overdue changes
time to show your ego how far you’ve come
time to tell the people you love that they’re enough.
It’s time to see your deepest pain through;
It’s time to contribute to the world that chose to spare you.

– Valerie Parente (3-31-2020)