Poetry Out Loud

2020 Poetry Ourselves: Max Feliciano Laracuente

A companion to Poetry Out Loud, the Poetry Ourselves competition gives students the opportunity to submit original poetry. The 2020 competition was open to state champions as well as students who advanced to their state final in states that were unable to hold a competition this year.

Max Feliciano Laracuente, a student at Residential Center of Academic Opportunities of Mayaguez (C.R.O.E.M.) in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, is the 2020 Poetry Ourselves written poetry runner-up for the poem “Going Home.”

"Going Home"

I’m crawling into static
Eyes blistering as they pound
the reflective concrete
figures in the dusk besiege my silhouette
asking, never answering

What is left for me here?
Entangled scenes of what is and what could be?
Other’s borrowed instants through infinite screens?
The scratched records singing verses of chandeliers?
The photo albums brimmed with ghosts
cheering on the subject of their inanimateness?

The asphalt rifts with every step
as I wrestle with paper chains that
shackle me to the impossibly heavy
hollow rocks of anguish,
the serenade of meaningless nothings resounded
sunset flames and hollering voices ensued;
the barbed wire cutting from inside my throat

Alas, the static morphs into silence.
My body giving in, at last
as the remnants of a hallucinated reality
mock me with its reflection.