The Orris: A Cultural Journal

Poetry: Valentina Cano


Unwinding a Life

It happened when I wasn’t looking.

It came, dragging its chains

of scorching days,

each fused to gather your image.

It tore through my house,

ripping my silences,

husking my voice

until it lay in tendrils on the floor.

The way it happened

is still a locked room dilemma,

murderer and victim

blinking in the harsh light of reality.

The day rose, the walls already scored with red.



Losing Selves

A dozen women dance

through my head,

scarves and veils,

tambourine like eyes

against their stomachs.

My mind loops around them,

trying to catch moles I might recognize

or slices of skin that

are familiar patches of cold ground.

But none of those creatures are me.

None of them feel like the one

I’m locked into

like a childproof backseat.

I see them dance.

I feel them weave out my ears,

to crumble to the floor.

I will never be those again.

The residue of their passing

smeared under my shoes.

-Valentina Cano 



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