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Imara Vaglez May 20
there is a little hole in my window
where the light seeps in
once the shutters have been pulled down
to keep the rain from coming inside
i keep watch on it
every time the sun rises
and every day the sun sets
it is the one reminder
that time is moving.

when i have forgotten to count the days,
i take note of the light-
the light that won't go out.
  May 11 Imara Vaglez
Mims
We all grew into our ears and our teeth
Our opinions and our feet
Our clothes and chubby cheeks
We grew out of our music tastes
And other peoples mouths
Learned what it was like to love and be loved
Learned what hate looks like
What scars on hearts instead of arms looked like
We grew out our colored hair
And washed career dreams like astronaut and superhero
Down the drain
With someone else's sweat
Got used to sleeping in someone else's bed
Burned our memories of them
We grew into our faces
And out of our blind faith
We lead more then we follow
We fall in love with the concept of tomorrow
We learn the ability to bully instead of being bullied
And finally learn to rise above it all
We learned where we come from cannot change
But we can
We learned the city isn't always beautiful
That there are problems and trauma in silence
That sometimes the most peaceful thing you can do is scream until it makes sense to you
"Write, write until you've used every metaphor in your library"
Imara Vaglez Mar 9
if i tell you i am on the brink
you may ask me to step back
i am teetering off the edge
you know i am-
when i begin turning words into poetry
when my verses no longer
make sense
and rhythm and rhyme
become tangled up threads
stretching onto the ends of the universe

i am on the brink-
but maybe the edge is not a plunge
into oblivion.
perhaps it is the horizon,
and the sunrise is not too far away.
Imara Vaglez Feb 6
if i were to die young
doing something really stupid
like crossing the street at the wrong time,
or slipping on a banana peel,
or falling off a ledge
taking a selfie,
i want you to lie.
tell them i crashed into space
trying to find proof alien life existed,
or i was caught in a storm
in the safari trying to save a baby leopard.
tell them i got lost
chasing metaphors
and fell down a rabbit hole.
turns out, they don’t all lead to wonderland
tell them something outrageous.
wild enough for them to believe
that they will never know the real truth.
let them wonder
more about the way I lived.
let them believe
there must be a little more to the story.
let them recall the day they last saw me,
and trace down the path
to when it all went wrong.

i do believe
that every memory is a recreation
rather than a remembering.
little details change-
the color of his shirt,
the make of his guitar,
the label on the water bottle he handed to you
telling you to sober up
when he was the one who needed saving.
if i were to die young,
tell them not how i died.
tell them what i would have been
had i grown older-
like an explorer.
given the chance, i would have sailed the seven seas.
or i could have become a renowned novelist
notorious for passing manuscripts
a second before the deadline.
he built things too-
not stories but houses-
took spaces apart
finding out what purpose they served best,
but he wanted more than anything to be a pilot.
sadly, he was a few inches too short.
imagine being told you can’t be something
because of the way you were born.
maybe all he wanted to do
was fly away-
not captain the ship-
just escape
to a land much happier than this one.

if i were to die young,
don’t talk about how life took away an angel.
god knows I was too scared of heights
to let my feet leave the ground.
instead, hold each other tight.
tragedy, they say
brings people together.
i will never forget
that January evening
when my brother walked in and told us
that he was gone.
i held my brother as if he were slipping
off the ledge of a 100 foot building
clinging on for dear life.
i held him like his bones
were made of steel,
and not even the tightest grip could shatter them.
i held him like i had never held him before
as his tears splashed
like cannon bombs on a tin roof.
bam, bam, BAM!
gunshots in the dark.
stealing through the night.
reverberating across the universe-
shaking awake those
who dared to dream
when all we did
was cry in silence.
i have come to realize
that pain is not a feeling
it is a weight
that drags your heart down
until the only word out of your mouth
is heavy.
all it felt
was heavy.
over time
i have learnt
to gather up the pieces little by little
and pick apart what you meant to say
in that last day.
i have recreated that night
a million times in my head,
each time
changing the ending,
the beginning,
the middle,
the story,
the ending,
the place,
the time,
the person-
the ending.
wondering if it would have made
even the slightest difference.
it is funny what the feeling of awkwardness can do-
how it can hold you back
from making the slightest move
from saying something like:
hey
last night was…
awkward.
can we start again?
it is funny how i spent 7 hours
next to you on a bus
without saying a single word
the morning after.
it is funny how i had searched you up on twitter
the night before
to look for clues that you remembered.
it is funny how
i still can’t listen to the song you played that night
without wanting to cry
my eyes out.
it is funny
but for a while since then
i had forgotten how to laugh.

so if i die young
i pray that you
never have to wonder
whether or not i thought of you
before i was taken away.
you can bet i did.
you can bet i wish i had more time
to say things had i known-
but what is time really
than a countdown to an ending?
all we can do
is hold on tight
and hope the seconds don’t run out.
or take the clock
and smash it ourselves.

one day
i may actually be remembered
as the girl who died
getting electrocuted
by pikachu
while on the way
to earn her final badge.
i’m sure i can thank my sister for that.
and that’ll be just fine-
so long as you remember
that once upon a time
i was a girl
with tiny hands
and a never-ending yearn to gather as much life
as she could
at the tip of her fingers
until it all slipped away.

and maybe i will never understand
why he left the way he did,
or why he ever came along at all.
but let me tell you this-
cosmic chance
or pure coincidence
i will always be grateful
for the privilege
of passing him by-
two ships in the night
shining a beacon
and wishing the other
safe travels.
bon voyage, old friend.
may we meet again
on the other side.
this is the poem I would have read if I had the courage you did. thanks for asking, and you were brilliant, too. hope you can read this up there.
Imara Vaglez Jan 6
one of my favorite feelings in the world
is when i am telling a story
and i realize it is only now i had remembered it
like picking up a lucky penny
on what would have been a regular walk to work
like discovering my dress has pockets
halfway through a dance
like passing time alone at a cafe
when an old friend walks in
a welcome surprise
rare and shiny
and made of memory pickings
and hidden treasures
Imara Vaglez Jan 6
This assignment is the worst.
Let me tell you how I spent the past few days contemplating whether or not I had ever truly loved.
Let me tell you how I tried to spin strangers into metaphors-
Likening their veins to spiderwebs and eyes to oceans and cringing at the sound of a language I had abused into making meaning out of things that didn't really matter.
Now I know you said, "love doesn't have to be romantic."
It can be platonic like Batman and Robin or bordering animosity like Doofenshmirtz and Perry the Platypus, but I know that's not what people want to hear,
And as a person who lends her ear to the universe and knows that even the Big Bang could dissipate into a whisper amidst all this noise, I wanted to be worth listening to.
I wanted to tell a great love story, but I cannot even begin to fathom what it means to open up your heart wholly and freely-
To tell the castle guards to pull down the drawbridge and cross over to the other side.
The weather must be nice out there.
Perhaps the sun is so warm it could kiss your skin, and the wind so full of life it could carry you away if you let it.
If you let it breathe it could bring you to your knees, and isn't that what love is supposed to do?
Send you chasing hurricanes, turn your world upside down, make you question whether or not a God exists because love is a force of nature- good or bad, for better or for worse.
If love is the square root of all feeling, then to feel at all must be to love.
But I am just a girl living in a hollow house trying to fathom the paradox of feeling numb, as the storm rages outside.
Let the raindrops pitter patter on.
Let the clouds rumble.
If I close my eyes, I can almost imagine-
This is the sound of footsteps.
Someone is knocking at the door.
All I need to do
is let them in.
This was the first spoken word poetry piece I ever performed in public. My professor thought it would be a great idea to write love letters and read them out loud, which I dreaded for weeks until I found myself spewing out verses at a rate I had never done before. It was magical and exhilarating, and absolutely unlike anything I had ever felt before.
Imara Vaglez Feb 2019
I only find words at 4 am.
It's becoming quite a problem,
but I guess it just means
that the syllables lay dormant
the entire day for a reason.
Perhaps they are collecting energy,
building up electricity
tossing it back and forth
within their bodies.

I only find words at 4 am.
And they wrap me up
with anxiety and comfort
all at once.
It is an irony
I am trying hard
and failing to understand.

I only find words at 4 am.
Or perhaps it is they
who find me.
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