January 17, 2024

Do you remember that house we stayed in,

When neither of us understood just how wide the world could be?

Remember how we left as soon as we could,

To see if there was a life beyond the one surrounded

By wild swaths of trees whispering into the night?


Remember the vultures that circled, swooped low,

So low that you could reach out and touch them?

They cried out for relatives

That no longer exist—an endless cycle

Of living, decaying, consuming.


Where did you go when we said our goodbyes

At the end of the wood?

Perhaps to the sea,

Where salt rests on the breeze and

Settles on your lips, staying for eternity?


Or maybe the desolate plains?

A place that hides nothing

And asks for nothing in return—

Just bare honesty, naked in truth.

You seem like you’d like it there.


As for me? I couldn’t follow.

I never could make that first step into the wood.

Instead, I watched you go,

Swallowed by the very thing 

That plagued your dreams.


I stayed and waited for you to turn back,

To give me one of your crooked grins

And say,

“I was only kidding. 

Did you really think I would leave?” 


So, I ask again, 

Do you remember that house on top of the hill?

It remembers you.


Come home, it pleads to the morning birds, the trees

That are still, even in the strongest wind.

I miss you.


Vanessa Perez has loved writing ever since she was a little girl. Words have always fascinated her, and now she studies English at California State University, Fullerton. While she typically seeks solace in poetry, she has also started experimenting with short fiction and essays. She is always looking for new ways to connect with others through her writing.



Featured Image by Josh Hild.