Valerie Loveland

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[Lemon Emoji] has always appeared

if someone asks, if someone doesn’t ask. If someone forgot

to ask.

 

[Lemon Emoji] is ever ready

to be a delineative

of my disappointments, sour moods.

 

People use [Lemon Emoji]’s to make [Lemonade Emoji].

 

Two leaves and a stem remind me

that trees bestow presents they want us to rip

from their bodies.

 

[Wafting Emoji] is always lemon. Consensus!

That national poll whispered

what I always knew, shyly

into my ear. Confirmation was gratifying.

 

[Lemon Emoji]s walk in a line. Walking resembles rolling.

 

What we have in common: oily skin, tears that emerge.

Easily! An olive complexion. Too many seeds

that will never grow a thing.

 

 

(A Woman Jogs with a Knife in her Hand)

 

Men seem surprised when we even out our chances

I run with a venomous snake in my hand

 

They want to know what is too much defending what is too much not accepting.

 

I run with a stick, with my childhood cat in my hand

 

with a hand full of the herpes virus.

Things will be different when we grow taller and sharper

our muscles equal once we all wear

 

a bullet proof vest makes us more in shape with extra weight to carry while we run.

 

I carry vomit from my own terrified stomach in my hand.

I run with a note from my husband saying I have permission to be outside alone.

Things will be different when they are different.

 

 

 

 

Valerie Loveland is the author of Mandible Maxilla, Female Animal, and Reanimated Somehow. She enjoys audio poetry, running, and mathematically random fashion. Her favorite painting is Self-Portrait by Marie Laurencin (pictured in author photo). She is a Computer Science student and lives in Boston.