It’s like sitting beneath a tree
How the small of your back
sets into impressed strength
alligator trunk spine.
You trust in me
because you trust yourself
this moment will not go anywhere.
Under a sea of leaves
translucent as glass
bubbles of gold
azure blue
you dream of waking oxygen
slow motion kisses
swirls of breath
to cradle tired lungs.
Inside my chest the animal stirs.
Crunchy knees creak in the dark
chip away warm paths
found in sleepless hearts
as we find a place to land
against a life lived without.
Saved by revelation
quiet as Sunday church
we sip sweet tea
marry our swinging ankles
to Spanish moss whispers
we listen
to the gospel
of thunder.

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Chachee Valentine

Chachee Valentine’s work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Stolen Island Review, Lullwater Review, Fugue, P’an Ku, In-Site Magazine, Words & Images, Alchemy, Prairie Margins, Askew, Bitchin’ Kitsch, Eunoia Review, The Parliament Literary Journal and 11 Mag Berlin. Chachee was one of seventeen finalists for the Rita Dove Poetry award in Salem, NC, placed second at Emory University’s Lullwater Review Prize for Poetry, was the recipient of the Rosemary Cox Poetry Award at Georgia State University and her short story, Prick, was a quarterfinalist for Screencraft 2021. Chachee lives in Santa Fe, NM and is majoring at IAIA in Creative Writing.