2021-2022, Poem


Featured in the 2021 Winter Issue of Rambunctious

Paloma Arena, '25

Dear Readers, 

What’s your favorite book? 
You can’t pick, can you? 
There’s a pit opening up in your stomach, 
Swallowing your choices 
Betray, or be betrayed 

Characters swirling and 
Grasping and reaching 
To be picked 
Hundreds of thousands of personalities 
Clawing at the crevices of your thoughts 

It’s not a matter of which book, though 
It’s a matter of which person 
Who are you going to be? 
Today, to this person, forever maybe 
Choose wisely 

And remember, whatever you say 
Will leave you thinking about it all day 
Are you willing to go back 
And be devoured by 
a world you can’t leave? 

So, what’s your favorite book? 
Or, should I say, who are you today? 
Or maybe the question should be, what reality are you in now?
Perhaps I should ask you why?
That’s a good one, no? 
What made you pick up a book for the first time? 
Was it an assignment? 
Was it a road trip? 

What was that spark? 
That little flame that exploded into life 
That grew and grew and grew... 
Consuming you desperately
Until all that was left was the next book
Where did the, dare I say, 
What a question to ask 
To a reader 

I’m sure you don’t know the answer 
I don’t, probably won’t ever 
But that’s not so important 
Is it 
Is it? 

I suppose the important thing 
is how you got so good 
At escaping 
Escaping to a fantasy 
Teach me sometime, yeah? 

One moment you’re here 
And the next the rest of us don’t exist 
And don’t get me wrong, I do it too 
But there’s something about the way you do it 
It’s intoxicating 

Those realities are real to you 
We can’t convince you otherwise 
Maybe you’re onto something 
But that’s besides the point 
The point is you’re good at what you do 

And I think it’s the best thing in the world
When you watch someone escape 
It’s like the air is filled with glitter 
And you can’t help but sigh and smile 
And let the sugary air seep into your soul 

But anyway 
One day maybe 
Just maybe 
I’ll be able to create a world like that 
A world that saves you from reality
But alas, I’ve reached the end of my thoughts 
Of the time I have with you 
I hope one day, you find a world you never want to leave 
Ever, ever, ever 

A Writer