The Poetics of Being
The more venturesome are the poets, but poets whose song turns our unprotected being into the Open.
—Martin Heidegger, “What Are Poets For?”
I. An overhead light in a dentist’s waiting room
intensifies the apprehension of a patient. The
callus on their hands flake
onto the floor, their
back the thick skin and flicking
the remains. Dragged from the dimly lit office to the
back room, a blue, cross-stitched chair
waits patiently for a victim. Perhaps
they’ve entered a dental convention, where they are all
put under a chemical ether.
Root canals scrape the lost
words from within our
smiles. A crown restores the
lost strength to bite
down on our toughest opinions.
A literary god calls,
royalty is a crest.
A mirror reflects light on the sharpest tip of the molar,
jagged enough to slice the gums. Inside our teeth, it’s
II. The church of poetics praises a
destitute time. The drunkards
sober up from their wine of
metaphysical oblivion by sipping
their Kantian-infused vodka. Denial
is no better than the truth. We’ve
already been dead.
A dinner party joins together
in the Cenacle, with a menu of Being
divided by finger-food sonnets that fall
off the bone, aeon soused steak, and
molten venture. The sap from an infamous
tree of life spills on the napkins, seeping
from the ceiling. We are beneath something
much larger than us.
III. An appetizer of panko-crusted chicken
marinated in the slow simmer of
zesty vis primitiva activa is brought to the
table. Leibniz triturates the crumbs left
on the plates. Ground to a powder, he
swirls his saliva into it, forming the
Bingham plastic liquid. The newly made
odontopaste conceals the open wound of
a drilled tooth.
The Being of beings lives in the
mouth. We are because we
allow ourselves to be.
Digestion begins in the mouth. We exist, crown to root.
IV. Not yet satiated, checker-piece sized
beef emits the savory scent of longevity.
Aion pais esti paizon, pesseuon.
A lifetime rounds itself off into zeroes
of existential statistics. Time is passed
down like generational
trauma, and before we know it, it’s ours
to keep and to deal with. Yet, the game
still stands. So, we
skip and we jump
and we collect those pieces across the board. As we bite down, the taste of
aged meat lingers, cannibalistically.
V. The last dish is cut into with a blade
freshly sharpened off the block. A river
of pantheism flows out of the chocolate
baked dome. The gravitational pull of
Being to being to venture to will is a
I am the Earth. I am the
I am the middle of the world:
everywhere, at every instance, all at once.
VI. The last ounce of sugar bites back
at the spackled, blackened tooth. Now
deadened and cracking, the creation
of language gasps for air. The deepest
 The seven chakras, with crown at the top and root at the bottom.
 “Time is a child playing, playing draughts,” from Heraclitus, Fragment 52
At the core, it’s smooth and hardened. So,
we rip it open, and
swallow it like a pill.
Suddenly, we overdose.
VII. Suicidology is the science of life. Dying is
feminine and masculine. Maybe in the next
life we are martyrs. We sacrifice life for
the price of knowing
this is not the end.
And where do we go when we die?
We are here. We are everywhere.
Perhaps space is God. Perhaps our bodies
are as far and as wide as the universe. We
are thrown into and out of the self.
We’re in the ground and the
air and we’re the present, past,
and future. Open and Closed.
Then, Open once more.
And Who Prayed for Satan?
“Who in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needed it most, our one fellow and brother who most needed a friend yet had not a single one…”
I. Our fallen angel, windborne from the
He fell from far
He’s been blistered red
from his original obsidian coating.
A blanket of impiety swaddled
him as he
broke the final layer
Forgiveness dusted the air and floated
between his fingers as he grasped at
the taunting particles.
II. I fall asleep at night on a
pillow of deception and
a comforter of betrayal.
tuck my body under
Satan whispers to me in a dream,
pray for me,
and I become mute. My inter
psalm to palm, are silent
I once prayed for him until my
voice dissolved, dissipating into
as a lost hymn.
I cannot save you.
III. I imagine Lucifer as
of faith caves in
as if it were
So, we sat in the yard and made
snowballs out of agnosticism.
I don’t believe in my Father. I don’t blame you.
IV. I’ve let Satan down. I capture the fine particles
in a jar like a child
imprisons lightning bugs.
I poke holes in the lid and
wait for redemption
to take its first breath.
The faint lights flicker
Morning star, I cannot pray in
Los Días de La Semana
On Mondays, I turn language on and off
to my own liking. Sometimes on Tuesdays I
understand what they mean when they call
me pendeja, but on Wednesdays I remember that
no matter how many years it has been, I will still
feel the ringing in my ear when English turns to
Spanish and then Spanglish.
On Thursdays, I wake up to the later translated
argument between my Peruvian father and his
Columbian wife, where he accuses her of cheating. I
couldn’t help but feel like he deserved it. Someone
should make him feel the way he made my mother feel.
Friday reminds me of lentils and rice on a perfectly
placed dinner plate while my tears salt the bland
chicken. He encourages me to finish my plate, but also
opens the bathroom doors for me after. Maybe my
pointer and middle finger in my throat is what being
a woman feels like. I don’t know if I’ll ever feel
comfortable in this body.
The day before church, I pick out my outfit and my
father yells at me for not being Hispanic enough. I
straighten my hair because it makes me prettier. He
calls me sexy because he thinks it’s okay.
On Sunday morning, my father steals my innocence and
tells me we are going to be late to mass. So, he pushes
me into the car and I weep in a pew, where all the
prayers are en Español.
But, its okay, because then it’s Monday again, and I
get to choose what I understand. Sometimes when I
don’t want to listen, everything is in Spanish again.
This skin of mine has stretched and
shrunk since it’s initial casing of baby
soft purity and unmarked beauty. My
home resides within me and around me.
I birthed this body from the canal that
divides my mud dusted valleys. The
roseate blood painted my face as I wiped the
droplets that canopy over my eyelashes. It fills
my belly button like a pool of childhood, baked
in the summer. These birthing hips bared a
daughter of light switch emotions.
I am the mother of my body. I am the mother
to my mother wound. The connection to my
flesh is so far away. The blisters on my feet
hold me back from running toward salvation. All there is left to do is sit in the slices of self
I hold my anger in the tip of my tongue
and gently gnaw at it with the firm bites
of food being too hot. I would speak up
for myself, but it’s rude to talk with your
The salt from last night’s dinner stings
my wounds when I try to lick myself
clean. The dampness lingers on my
forearm and keeps me cold. Maybe one
day someone will touch me and feel the
way I do.
My deepest wounds are so peroxide soaked, I
paddle through them like a captain lost at sea.
Bipolar swishes in my veins and crashes against
the shore of my mind. I am so inside of my head.
One instant, I am above the waves, and in the
next, I am sand encrusted.
I am both the creator and the destroyer. I wish I had
known sooner. I am ripping out of my skin, begging
to be outside of this. I am caved under my
fingernails. All I can do is sit and stare at my hands,
What have you done?
Poetry feels like the
non-Newtonian world. It’s stuck between
the almost firm and almost liquid state of
when the poets venture out in the
river of honey and it
sticks to the oars but
in the very next
Before you know it,
you’re in the river;
somewhere, what will be
what used to be,
is your body.
But that is so loud.
seeps into your mouth and fills your lungs.
Even the holes
within the substance
are filling up, bringing
you further and
into an aortic bed.
the pillow on top of
a neatly pressed comforter
poetry resides in that soft
cushion, and makes you
whole. it makes you
Sofia Escobar is currently a junior at Hartwick College double majoring in Creative Writing and Philosophy with a minor in Women and Gender Studies. She has won the Anna Sonder Prize for Poetry through the Academy of American Poets for two years in a row, in 2022 and 2023. She was recently published by Rectangle, Sigma Tau Delta’s creative journal, and won the Eleanor B. North Poetry Award for 2023. Her work has also been published in Hartwick College’s undergraduate literary magazine, Word of Mouth, in 2022 and in Auburn University’s, The Auburn Circle, in 2021.