Because I Must


United States
37° 5' 24.864" N, 95° 42' 46.4076" W

The complexities of chemistry, 

seeing Spanish in written form,

music falling into a beautiful structure-

all are engaging but none of them compare

to the beauty found in the English language.

My fascination is engraved in lingering dreams

among tall bookcases.

I write because I must.


I started reading unusually late.

The school I went to taught Bible stories

and didn’t care much for the classical education system.

At the time, my parents spoke Spanish, seeing English words

on pristine, little, white cards didn’t make a connection

with the words in my mind. It took years to discover

that they were teaching me wrong.

Yes, I could sound out words.

Yes, I knew the rules.

Yes, I knew the mechanics.

But I didn’t feel anything.


You see, reading isn’t a passive activity. Reading

engages the mind, and after much practice-

one becomes a frenzied, active reader. A reader

who recognizes beauty in significant sentences

and fingers the pages lovingly. A reader

who spots subtle references and delights

 in certain breaths of a sentence. This is why

 authors write. Reading should not smell like sleep.

Faintly of coffee and of sheets. Reading

should be stimulating, inspiring, breath-taking.


I read to feel every emotion in the human spectrum,

to explore different perspectives and relish in simply feeling.

I am a shallow, curious creature

who seeks beauty in nooks and crannies.

I seek art in pain, in love, in joy, in souls.

To see rules broken excites me.

Sandra Cisneros shattered every convention

that I had studied so carefully with her poetry.

Jonathan Safran Foer introduced a simplistic beauty

 in his work that stripped away any reverence

preserved for classical writers. It was raw. And it spoke

so very clearly to my soul that it wore down

on any other form of communication.

These were not words.

This was art.


I write to make other people feel- to serenade the soul.

If my heart is broken, I want the audience

to feel each fissure and slip into each indention

that appears on the surface of my cracked heart.

I want them to find it necessary to wipe at wet faces.

I want to be able to breathe life in to words.

I want people to stop asking

why I write, read, study- I want them to know.


Everyone and everything is a story.


Whether we can see the connection to all of them

we must realize they exist. Less obvious stories

qre hidden in plain sight. Mathematics

hides romantic notions- adventures to find x,

tragedies of lines that will never meet

and those that never look back once they split apart.

Every foot step taken is poetry. It tells a story of attraction.

Your body is drawn to the ground yet dreams of skies.

Your feet exchange energies- always greeting and leaving.

They remain at peace always knowing

with each goodbye there is a hello.


Every page of literature,

every leaf fallen from a tree has a history.

Its beginning may be found

in the swirling mass of ideas in a writer’s head

or a strong oak standing defiant in a sea of concrete.

Trace your history. What has made you?

Maybe that stranger on the street sent

a wry smile in your direction and gave you

strength to face the day, the support of friends,

or the innate stubbornness that you gained from your parents

who gained it from theirs. We are a chain

of connections that cannot be sketched out in the sand.

A much larger canvas is needed

along with a greater and more extensive memory.

Who and what I am today

was not a decision that was solely influenced

or made by myself.


Writing gives me a certain eloquence,

a definite sense of strength I cannot find

anywhere else. My voice may lie dormant,

but I cannot be silenced. With a slash of quietness

across my lips, I still speak- I rage, I rejoice, I cry, I dream.

My brain processes thoughts quickly and nerves shoot

like electricity in all directions. My heart ignites

and sends my pen its message.

I will not be silenced.

I will not be filled with white noise.

I am made up of sound that finds a path

through all spaces and vacuums.


I am inevitable.



Why I Write Scholarship

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