“Night Time Ice Cream” by Stephanie Maria Athena Valente

it’s summertime and we’re gods. i’m still uncertain in white sneakers
and cherry-colored lipgloss. it tastes almost like soda. do you want a kiss?

put a scoop in a cup, smile at a customer. we are one cigarette break away,
from insanity. it feels like lust. it feels like a private party.
we’ll be searching for this feeling for the rest of our lives.

who wants to live that long? i do. i don’t. we’re all on borrowed time.
time was invented by someone who is dead. what an asshole.

i want you to give me a ride home, but i’m afraid to ask. you ask instead.
plastic spoons, extra soda, top 40s tunes. for once, i look hot in flourescent light.

you finger the patches on my denim shorts. tell me how good i smell.
like magic. like home. like summer. like typical fake coconuts and sunscreen.
tell me i’m sex and night lights and fuzzy car seats. i’m good hair days
and oh nice legs, girl kind of talk, i know you think it. i know you think like our noses will bleed.
you smile. you say nothing. you put mint chip in a cone.

it’s okay, gods don’t talk that much.

Stephanie Maria Athena Valente lives in Brooklyn, NY. Her published works include Hotel Ghost, waiting for the end of the world, and Little Fang (Bottlecap Press 2015, 2017, 2019). She has work included in Reality Hands, TL;DR, and Cosmonauts Avenue. She is the associate editor at Yes, Poetry. @stephanie.athena

Photo: “Misunderstanding” by Victoria Johnston

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