Speaking with Strangers
by Valentina Cano
There’s a line of lipstick
smudged into a fan above her top lip.
It moves with each word,
creasing itself over and over
into origami birds that fly
over mentions of podiatrist’s appointments
and items missing from shopping lists.
The only part of her body
Speaking with Strangers II
He swings his ponytail as he walks,
He speaks to me from too far
and his voice is just a white noise
He invites me to inch closer
into the circumference of his voice,
but I step back,
ebbing away from unspoken demand.
Valentina Cano is a student of classical singing who spends whatever free time she has either reading or writing. Her works have appeared in numerous publications and her poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Web. Her debut novel, The Rose Master, was published in 2014.