THE WORST VALLEY YOU CAN IMAGINE
You’re a little island without parachutes. There is no harness, no harbor in you. I’m the center of the island, a valley, in me everything flows up from. There’s a harem of lemurs living in me & nothing but monk fruit. It’s the worst valley you can imagine. Vines hang soggy on empty tree branches, your musk is everywhere. Each volcanic eruption stretches you out, keeps cooling at the sea’s edge & I’m jealous of the air that settles on your new arm & makes steam from the depths of this now. Your living & breathing is nothing except the bright coat of a jay visiting the tree where it once nested. There’s no resemblance left.
DANIELLE MITCHELL is a recipient of the Editor’s Choice Award from The Mas Tequila Review and a finalist for the Marica and Jan Vilcek Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Bellevue Literary Review, Union Station Magazine, decomP, Freeze Ray and Connotation Press. Danielle is an alumna of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers and the University of Redlands. She lives in Long Beach, California where she is director of The Poetry Lab. Find her at poetryofdanielle.com.