Strange Comfort


We feel rapture in the rays

of the first summer sun, melting

winter’s beating – it nearly

did us in. Our thawed hearts

stretch in the warm glow; golden

bliss on our bare skin. On our backs,

we touch the bloomed

snapdragons. We want to kiss

the sweet cheek

of the strange comfort

above us

swirling and soft

in the cerulean sky.


La Notte


We meet at a corner cafe, sipping

cappuccinos. He tells me parli

bene l’italiano. I tell him

I’ve been practicing for years.

He doesn’t know he’s the reason

I’ve run away to this village

by the sea. That I’ve seen his

movies. To my shock he wants

to stop making films, become

an oil painter. I stare at the small

mole beneath his mouth, a mark

of beauty. I wonder what color

he sees surrounding me as the day

fades and the light of dusk

kisses our foreheads. Later, under stars,

he pulls me to him, tells me he dreams

he was once Anteros, the Italian God

of passion and love. I say lo sei ancora.

He vows to take me to Verona

in the morning, because he wants us

to reach the edge of the Adige River –

a place for cinematic love to be

declared and buried. But first, we burn

bright through night. Knowing tomorrow

the water will wash us clean.


Wren Valentino is an author, poet, and screenwriter. He writes in multiple genres, primarily contemporary romance and horror. His literary work has been featured in Atomic Flyswatter, Halfway Down the Stairs, Wicked Gay Ways, and the My Front Door series from Silver Birch Press. Wren earned an MFA in Creative Writing at Queens University of Charlotte in North Carolina. Wren is a member of Romance Writers of America. Wren loves film noir, 80’s slasher movies, Julie London records, all things Tiki, and everything written by Jane Austen. Visit Wren’s website or follow Wren on social media Facebook: WrenValentino12
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