Stephanie Valente

in naxos

-for ariadne

-for joanna

this morning, i informed my sister, i am a demi-god–behold, i changed the course of the universe by adding cocoa powder to coffee. by day, i glisten under olive trees, just one then two branches crowned by golden gods of wine. i am reborn in an olive sun full of rabbit-fixed air. the nymphs braid my hair for renewal. moon-guarded, i measure my text backs. we sacrifice sacred lambs to only be born again under the rites of olives and grapes.


-after mary ruefle

perhaps it is elephants

who are the real witches

in this story,


in evenings,

they drink up water

held under a dry forest’s

spread of stars,


waving branches

at the waxing moon

blue night, purple moon


a prayer-spell,

the moon is alchemy

holding elephants

like garnets and glass


some things are more

sacred than gold,


i stay alive.

Stephanie Athena Valente lives in Brooklyn, NY. Her published works include Hotel Ghost, waiting for the end of the world, Little Fang, and Spell Work (Bottlecap Press & Giallo). Featured writing includes Witch Craft Magazine, Maudlin House, and Hobart. She is the associate editor at Yes, Poetry. Sometimes, she feels human.