Previous  Back to Issue Next 

Valerie Vargas

Another poem responds, "it's just you, but please elaborate."

It Wasn't a Funeral as Much as it Was a Mass—on devotion

The car ride back was smooth/ as a feather./ My dad and I were talking about the birds/ [to the birds]/
it’s a natural phenomenon, he said,/ it only happens this time of year./ They flock by the
dozens,/hundreds,/ swirling in the red sky before landing/ on telephone lines.

My grandmother would play this game/ when my brother and I were restless in the car/ who can find the
first bird? she said/ but the skies would be empty.

They line up on the telephone lines—/unconscious of making space for one another./ it happens
naturally, a biological response/ if they think there’s strength in numbers/ it’s because there is. And they
all face the same/ direction/ against the wind so when taking off/ the wind lifts up and under their wings/
assisting in flight.  

Spirit Guide

A moth in the desert will stay in her cocoon for up to three years waiting for the rain.

I don't want to grow up, she said.

Mother Nature would do anything for her to survive.

Her birthing is the political nature of the occult.

It is an evolution, the desert moth needs the perfect environmental conditions in order to thrive.

# # #

A poet is a condition.

One poem says, is it just me or is everything in life cathartic?

Another poem responds, "it's just you, but please elaborate."

Something always seems to mean something else...

Darling, you're a writer.

A masochist and an optimist are the same thing—depending on who you ask.  

# # #

When I was a child climbing a tree, I pushed up its diagonal with my hands and feet, my father was across the lawn of the park mid-spring, the reds were blooming. I leaned in and felt the prick of a caterpillar in the palm of my hand. It numbed me as it clawed its way through my wrist, disrupting my bone marrow and crawling behind my shoulder blade to rest. It slept there for hours, and I slept too, and cried.

# # #

Valerie Vargas is a poet and printmaker born and raised in Miami, Florida. She is an MFA candidate at the University of Notre Dame where she is exploring hybrid prose and post-pastoral poetry.