Threshold.

By Joanna Valente

Something fell on Lincoln Ave / Mammoth teeth

in rock salt in lime in a whale’s belly / a wooden

chair breaks under weight /


Paid $25 for avocado n’ fish n’ yucca n’ lemons

to feed humans saying / don’t let me be lonely 1

when the tonality shifts / it is easier to be

evasive than to tell any truth /


& lack of truth can be blamed on brokeness

2 yrs ago was 2 yrs ago / not unremembered

in teeth / in tonal changes / over


landmasses, sea-stuff / Still I carry his name

in my cervix / at night peeling my eyes like onion

skinning off lost papers / they disappear /


hope they disappear / Cannot dream anything

in color except scribbled words (who’s biography?) /

red ink that writes don’t let me be

1.Claudia Rankine, Don’t Let Me Be Lonely, An American Lyric










Joanna C. Valente is a MFA candidate in Poetry Writing at Sarah Lawrence College, where she is also a part-time mermaid. She founded and currently edits Yes, Poetry. She can be found at http://joannavalente.com.

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