Content Warning: blood, fertility
Lynn Valentine – Blood is the Rose
Is this what first love feels like?
A soft whorl of cells, the weightlessness
of another, a junction of lives
tethered in shrine of night.
My blood was hers, my life was hers—
small hands swimming for light
for the land beyond murk and womb.
I was gifted into rain, into day.
I heard her screams, nothing like
our old silent communion, heard her
screams and nothing else. I became
a second flower opening, detaching
myself from her breathing, her body—
a rose that could hardly be held.
Lynn Valentine lives in the Scottish Highlands with a mountain for a neighbour. Her debut collection, Life’s Stink and Honey, was published by Cinnamon Press in 2022, after winning the Cinnamon Literature Award. Her Scots language pamphlet, A Glimmer o Stars, was published by Hedgehog Poetry Press in 2021, after winning their dialect competition. She is currently being mentored by the poet Niall Campbell after winning a place on the inaugural Roddy Lumsden Memorial Mentoring Scheme.
Artwork: Vestige by Melissa Nunez
Melissa Nunez lives and creates in the caffeinated spaces between awake and dreaming. She makes her home in the Rio Grande Valley region of South Texas, where she enjoys observing, exploring, and photographing the local flora and fauna with her three home-schooled children. She is contributor for The Daily Drunk Mag and Yellow Arrow, and staff writer for Alebrijes Review. Twitter: @MelissaKNunez