Bronwyn Valentine

Nowife Makes a New Skin

Not wanted for a wife / not his wife nothing like / so not a wife
nowife what to do / unwifely messy / this sweat and spit of him

Unwelcome this nowife / the mouth imprint / the semen mark of him
failed nowife keep failing / this wanting is a failure

Traitor nowifely / body insists on keeping / some measure
of him / some ghost crumb or signifier / come and gone

Nowife keep wanting to keep him / but can’t dumb child
-ish nowife / better ribbon that skin off nowife / all that skin

By inches fractions and inches / make that nowife skin
disposable / make a new skin / a better loyal skin

Sheets of paper / a hundred square papers / however many hundreds
and many innumerable / to make this do / be never touched nowife

Not ever by him / such a newness / an origami crane a fold a crease
a paper doll chain / almost done / a sailboat in the creek


Bronwyn Valentine is an MFA candidate at the University of Alabama. Her work has appeared in ILK. She lives in Tuscaloosa.