Since I left
I’ve wanted to comeback
To return home
To hear the accents of my community
To speak and listen to Miami-Latin drawl
To have a conversation with someone
That speaks beautifully—-
someone with an accent—
As words and phrases
Often defy syntactical norms
but never loose semantics.
To rely—at times-
on what is felt but isn’t said
To see a Latin American community
hustle to thrive
In a land where we all work
to build a sense of home
In Miami’s blistering heat
sweat stained clothes and faces turned sweet
fueled by an unrelenting desire
To live a life that’s earned.

To bask in pleasure
Of sunny days near water
nurtured by swaying palm trees
Days that end in utter surrender
to the lure of the night
It’s reassuring calm
Fusion cuisine and
authentic home cooked meals
It’s light filled entertainment
Music that sways, pulses,
and coaxes any wallflower.

Dawns that bring life’s only constant
—-Another day eager to sprout
Another opportunity
Another dream
Another chance to uncover
the intimacy of finding and being loved.

A feeling

I’ve held on to a feeling

For so long

It’s no longer a memory

It’s a vestigial phantom

The disappearance of this feeling

Gnaws at the edges of my heart

As if without this feeling

My heart may quiver and shrink.

I held on to the feeling

of a man caring about me

Without any recent tangible irrefutable proof

I trusted the universe

That a feeling can rearrange my reality

I placed my faith

In my character and his

I found solace in my feeling

Until recently–

Today my heart is skeptical

This feeling has eroded

Leadenly my spirit

For a Split Second

I slightly turned,
Looked up,
For a split second
I thought it was you
At the end of the hall.

For a split second
My heart swelled,
I could feel a smile
Reach my eyes
Before my lips could move,
My body felt warm
For a split second
My fingers ached
Restless for a possibility to touch you,
My legs felt determined
To bring me closer to you.

Then, the second passed

I realized it was only a semblance of you
I saw in the man,
My eyes tricked my heart to hope
You were near me once again

-Vanessa Hernandez



There is something mystical about walking
to meet the sea at dawn
a city that doesn’t sleep
seems to take a breather
right around when
night meets day.

The city is quiet
surrounded by water
waves thump
against a sea wall
neither angry nor calm
only consistent unwavering energy.

The trees are solemn
birds asleep
except that occasional outcast
still awake
peering out
wondering what is causing
the wind to change direction?

The mood of the night
to depart–
to give space
for something new.

Streets are desolate
except that exceptional runner
that other lonely walker
that bicyclist
that person taking a dog for a potty break
that encounter with a homeless person
searching your eyes
not out of fear, not to threaten, nor ask, nor take
there is nothing you’d willingly part with.
For a few seconds you posses
genuine human interaction
eye contact in which
you acknowledge one another
as only two humans can.

As quickly as the moment arose
it dissipates,
what continues on
is your body moving
to meet the coming day.

It’s complete serenity to see the day break
before your eyes
the sky getting lighter
each passing minute
as birds start their morning chirp
Sunlight pierces the horizon
the waves are gentle
as though
the rising sun
Brought with it peace.

Dawn is a moment
often sought by a restless soul
for the light
of a new day
Brings optimism and courage
as sunlight lays gentle kisses
on well weathered skin.

-Vanessa Hernandez


A walk

I could smell the dew
Hear the birds not quite awake
Feel the cold wind brush my skin
As though night and day
Met for a dance
And my steps cast
Shadows on an illusion.

As I walked
I felt confident
Yet my knees at times quivered
My ankles felt uncertain
As my legs navigated uneven streets
I kept my head up
Perched like a swan
Eyes focused on the horizon
Less I might stumble
Trip over my feet
My legs continued walking
Without rhyme
Filled with purpose.

The only obstacle was myself
My will power to continue
As the night rescinded
And the day began to break
Cold wind replaced by warmth
Birds eagerly urged me on
And I knew I was close
To my small slice
Of serenity on earth

As the smell of the ocean
Penetrated the air
Until my eyes could bask upon
The water gently brushing the shore
As though the water is the music
That accompanies night and day
In an eternal dance.

-Vanessa Hernandez



There is a tether

from you to my heart:

A line that pulls each time

I feel you’re too far away,

That vibrates with electricity

Each time you’re near.

-Vanessa Hernandez


The Poet

As what used to be
And what will be
Blend along blurred lines
The resonance of each
Appear to be what is.

The present feels fragile
Sheer and opaque
As what is visible
And what is perceived
Are diametrically opposed.

Along the subtext
Parallel to semantics
Adjacent to syntax
Cowers the poet,
Constantly chastised
Eager to play among the dialect
Stuck in neither time nor space
Delicately brushing concepts
With an insatiable desire
To transmit beauty
From prose
Into reality.

-Vanessa Hernandez


I’ve let go so many times
I’ve looked away
Turned away
Walked away
Each time I let go
I came back
Like I could almost
Hear his voice
Sometimes gently
Sometimes not so gently
Guiding me back
I’ve wondered about endless riddles
Gone in tireless circles
Until what was and what wasn’t
Ceased to matter
All I was left with was a feeling:
He would never hurt me
He would keep me safe
I’ve let go so many times
And I’ve held on
Just one more time
Than I’ve let go.

-Vanessa Hernandez



Is it possible
To feel music
Beyond the notes played?
To feel the vibrations
As the notes change
Feeling tender pulses
That resonate in different parts
Of my mind.

Sometimes the notes
Are so beautiful
Their rhythm feels
Like a synaptic journey
Pushing deeper into my conscience
As I listen
The song leaves an impression
Registered in my thoughts
So that if I close my eyes
I feel like I’m traveling
With the notes
As they rise and fall
I’m along for a ride
Without a predetermined path
Wondering how the journey will end?

Is it possible
Music can synthesize
Something much greater than a song?
Is it possible
A carefully composed arrangement
Can heighten human consciousness?
Can put back together
A person’s internal peace?

It is possible
To feel music
To travel alongside the notes
To elevate oneself
With a majestic ensamble
That resonates with something much deeper
Than the material world.

-Vanessa Hernandez



I will never be fearless
Nor do I wish to be
I have let go
Of my childish fears of mythical creatures
Although I can admit
It calms me
To fall asleep looking at the sky
However small slither of it I may see
I like to wake up
And see the sky change colors
It’s the tranquility
In nature’s unfabricated beauty
That lets me believe
Things will be alright.
Even in my optimistic view
I do not live with rose-colored glasses
There are many a thing
That do go thump and bump
In the night and day.
I do not fear forces I cannot see
My instincts protect me
From threats headed
Directly towards me
What I do fear
Is being ridiculed by misunderstanding.
I fear false idols
Since we are all only human
And I’ve met no one that’s perfect
I fear people may catch
Only a glimpse of me
And make all sorts of assumptions
Of the melodies I hum
The lyrics that nourish me
These were lessons learned
At a steeper price
Than I would want
Anyone else to pay
Although I am very much aware
My life has been much easier than others
Music speaks to me, at times for me and through me
I dance to make sense
Of my own awkwardness.
I’ve never craved
To be center of attention
Even though I often position myself
In the middle and inbetween things.
I fear destruction
Not because I can’t see the value
In clearing space and starting fresh
I fear the inability to make things better
I fear my shyness
Is misunderstood as arrogance
My apprehension
Is solely based on my experience
That things in life are rarely free
Its even rarer to meet a person
That genuinely cares.
I fear misplaced and unfulfilled expectations
I do not have answers
For questions I am still formulating.
My biggest fear is loneliness
And this isn’t because I’m afraid of
Being alone
I fear I won’t find
The person I want to share my life with
Wants to share his life with me
I fear craving companionship
Only brings the wrong suitors
I relish my independence
But fear it also isolates me.

-Vanessa Hernandez


Hay noches

Hay noches en cual
Todavía recuerdo,

Me levanto y siento un peso enorme
Dentro de mi
Un peso que tiene la intención
De regresarme a la tierra
Me siento que me falta energía
Porque mi cuerpo no se quiere mover.

Siento que mi conciencia
Esta agotada
Ya no quiere pensar más
No quiere considerar las razones
Ni entender la motivación
Solamente se quiere quedar ignorante.

Después siempre siento mi corazón
Dar latidos tan fuerte
Que lo siento en mi pecho
Y vibra en mis oídos
Y con cada latido
Mi corazón transforma a mi conciencia
La convence que esos sentimientos
Son adecuados en la niñez
Pero como una consciencia adulta
Uno nunca puede
Abandonar sus pensamientos
Uno tiene que seguir luchando
Con todas las herramientas disponibles
Para entender lo que uno puede
De la maravilla que es la vida.

Hay noches en cual
Todavía me recuerdo
Cómo me sentía cuando vivía
En miedo y ignorancia
Pero ahora solamente escucho
Los latidos de mi corazón
Y me recuerdo de la conclusión
La mente sigue luchando
Mucho después del cuerpo
Y mantiene mi espíritu intacto.

-Vanessa Hernandez



Roots dig into the ground
They extend and intertwine
Like lovers locked in a secret embrace
As their secrets spill
Up from the ground
A trunk emerges
Its confidence secured
By the branches that extend
Out from the whole
Some are frail
Some are robust
Most are as nimble as fingers
With leaves adorning the edges.

Some may look
And see only a tree
When what’s really there
Is something much greater
It is a complicated dance with nature
It is a testament of love between forces
A safe haven for dreamers
With hopes and desires
Bubbling underneath the surface
As roots intertwine
Lovers embrace
Like magnetic forces pulled together
Reaffirming the strength of the whole.

-Vanessa Hernandez