clear glass bottle on brown sand

Poetry No. 66 – Vincente Perez


by Vincente Perez

There’s a message in a bottle
Floating somewhere for me to find
Addressed by time and
Inside is a ticket home.

I find the bottle during a
Diasporic return.

On my First attempt
To find the boundaries of infinity
I Meet and cross paths with a shadow
We wave and vibrate to signal passage

The shadow speaks silence
Reverbs and cleaves
This Living Fissure with
Cratered skin feels like Kin.

Extraterrestrial gravity pulls me in a
Way that I did not choose
But I feel a collective consent
That speaks so I don’t need to

The shadow envelops me
Right as a grandfather clock tolls,
I wake up in a time zone
that I do not recognize.

Alienated from my own shadow
I start running to find their presence
My sweat forms shores,
I keep running towards
And away from.

There’s a plantation in the horizon
With my name on it
But it does not feel familiar

The sun burns my eyes as
I read the address,
1492 Europe’s drive
A voice announces my arrival

Dread covers me in shivers
this fearful vibration
Places me into the shadow
Until we are one.

Slippage returns me to the bottle
Passing notes and frequencies back and
Forth. Between this shadow,
I recognize, a chance.


Vincente Perez (He/They) is a Black Mexican-American performance poet, scholar, and writer working at the intersections of Poetry, Hip-Hop, and Black digital praxis. Perez explores how artists use narrative to resist dominant stories that attempt to silence marginalized communities. They are a PhD Candidate in Performance Studies at UC Berkeley and a 2021-22 Poetry and the Senses Fellow. Their work has been featured in River and South Review, Abolition Journal, Kawsmouth, and more.

Photo by Joshua Woroniecki on

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