c o n v e r g e n c e:
an online journal of poetry & art

EDITOR'S CHOICE: lytton bell's

Julie Valin

Photograph by Brent Wiggans
Photograph by Brent Wiggans


By Julie Valin

After a tough day
of being a mom 
with no other aspects
of me showing,
I am huddled 
against the kitchen sink, 
water running to drown out the sound 
of my daughter crying
for something,
when all she ever gets
is my undivided love.

I pretend to wash
sippy cups, or the vegetables
I should be cooking for dinner,
but instead I reach in the freezer
behind the Eggo waffles,
tucked in there neatly,
slide out my bottle 
of gin, sip 
right from the lip.

On the other side of town,
friends gather and drink
cheap beer pitchers,
laugh and tell stories
of their days at the river
or their musical nights  
with new and exciting strangers,
wonder where I am
for a brief moment.

I retreat
to the living room 
where my daughter is now
coloring and quiet,
learning her letters.
I look down
and there, under her pink sea
and purple seahorses,
she has scribbled
a message so clear:


By Julie Valin

Buttercups, their little faces.
If you hold one up to your chin,
and it glows,
my nana said,
then you are boy crazy.

Mine never didn't glow.

Those beautiful weeds.
It's hard to pick them,
unless you're making a bouquet
for a frog,
I tell my daughter,
her petal-soft fingers
pinching the small stems
as she arranges a cluster
to offer me,
of how many frogs
she will go through,
unaware of how golden
they cast a glow
before she hands
to me.

Aura by Katy Brown
Aura by Katy Brown


By Julie Valin

When it finally happens
it’s a tingle of new blood
on the tip of your tongue,
a pinpoint,
a precise moment
frozen hot—
singed like an old photograph.
The quiet light 
behind your eyes
melting red,
your fingertips
alive in awareness,
the soft flesh inside
your mouth
your whole life,
those missed dances,
the glances sent
the lone walks home, 
the third wheels,
the silent phones,
the misplaced compliments,
        it all blows away
        in ashes,
until all you know in this world,
is this long lick of flame—
its blue center
burns the hottest
        when his lips
        finally find
        their way
        to yours. 


By Julie Valin

It's time for me
to create
my own goddamned

Julie Valin

Julie Valin has been published in various literary magazines and anthologies, and is the co-publisher and founder of the celebrated after hours poetry press, Six Ft. Swells. By day she is a copy editor, book designer, self-publishing specialist, a long-standing board member of the Nevada County Poetry Series, and a committed member of Nevada County Arts’ Literature committee. By night she is a beer-swigging gypsy and avid appreciator of the show “Sons of Anarchy”– after her daughter goes to sleep. Her book of poems, The Distance Between is available on Amazon.

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