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Ara Jan 2022
[do you have a suggestion?]

my brother pauses, turning to me;
"because you're full of great suggestions,
but you always say them too late."

he means no harm by it,
yet how do i put a name to this silence?
shutting up in compliance?

       —i shoved cotton down my throat,
       now i can't breathe—

when did the echo become louder than the scream?
maybe it was vegas, twenty-nineteen.
maybe I was never allowed to dream.

how do i speak my voice back into existence then,
when i can no longer remember its sound?
whispers, snuffed out so many times i've lost count.

[i forget.]
Copyright © 2022 Aranza V. Soto Torres. All rights reserved.
Ara Jan 2022
swallow me, bottomless pit;
let me rest under the breadth of your expanse.
light a fire at my feet, celestial abyss,
and we may watch the shadows dance.

did you hear icarus burned for the sun?
will i, too, take the shape of a star?
[set ablaze, with heaven just out of touch]

i found a chasm at the edge of my stomach,
and i knew the darkness by name.
"welcome home, uncertainty.
i'm so glad you came."

i will learn to call you my friend.
Copyright © 2022 Aranza V. Soto Torres. All rights reserved.
  Jun 2021 Ara
David Lessard
I used to read your poems
but lately you don't write
you're silent and aloof
you know that isn't right.
You can't close a door once opened
you can't abolish all your dreams
you're a poet of the heart
mustn't fall apart at the seams.
Say what you can in words
they speak the message true
spoken from the heart
the poems will see you through.
A hermit's not your style
a recluse, you are not
never give up writing
of things that you've been taught.
I used to read your poems
I'd read them once again
if you would send them out
(this one's from a poet friend)
Ara Jun 2021
the tug is light,
like string caught on a bracelet.
but this is his home
and these are his scissors,
and he cuts you off.
your plea is but a mild annoyance
and these four walls seem smaller alone.
they ***** you out
and that tug..
that tug is a knot caught in your throat
being washed down with liquour.

he doesn't tell you this
-not in words his lover can hear-
but he hates you.
you are small
and he hates you,
and that lover is a friend
who doesn't know to save you.

you are small and alone
and he hates you.
you'll remember to believe him
when he jokingly says so.
Copyright © 2021 Aranza V. Soto Torres. All rights reserved.
  Jun 2021 Ara
Octavian Cocos
My body's made of dust and muddy earth
And yet my soul descended from the sky,
Love's been my mistress from my very birth
And I'll protect it always, till I die.
She's like a down that gathers in a pile,
Because she's sensitive and pure and light,
But if the wind starts blowing for a while,
Then she gets scared and suddenly takes flight.
On our Earth, love is a little shy,
People have lost their meaning and are bad,
They are attached only to things that lie,
Love for some time, and then they all get mad.
But I respect my mistress, she's sublime,
I'll be her slave until the end of time.
Ara Jun 2021
a stranger points to a smoke sign and asks if i smoke; i say no
now that stranger is a friend and my no is a sometimes
and i wonder if it was a warning when he said that smoking was bad.

had i known, i would have answered the anxiety is worse and the cancer can't really **** me when i already feel dead inside.
instead, i waved him off with a laugh that meant "i know. isn't it obvious?"


the rot caught up to me two years later, outside the same bar where i'd pestered another friend into putting down a box.
it was a betrayal then, when i brought the sick to my lips and inhaled the poison.
it was a betrayal again when he found out.

i tried to appease the scolding,
argue that i've stopped smoking.
would it be a betrayal now to say
"i still think of rot and decay"?
Copyright © 2021 Aranza V. Soto Torres. All rights reserved.
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