Home 9 Issue 9 this is the place

Sofía Aguilar, age 22

At the launch of our new Literary Journal, we asked WriteGirl alum Sofía Aguilar to take up the challenge of writing a poem in collaboration with attendees. We asked our volunteers, mentees, alums, and the general public to describe places they love in their own hometowns and share some memorable moments with us. As they dropped their ideas into the chat, Sofía scooped them up and created an entire poem in less than 30 minutes. We hope you enjoy reading this community-sourced poem as much as we enjoyed hearing Sofía perform it at the launch event! It is a stunning reflection not only of great love for Los Angeles, but also for hometowns worldwide.

this is the place

this is the place i always return to: 

the creek where i learned to skip fast

the cactus where i fell by the pool

the fence where i fell again before my bike did

the ravines and oak trees,

the history of the earth in their bark

both seen and unseen


this is the place i always return to: 

dry wind in summer tickling my nose

coyotes in the distance at night, howling, hungry

the deer that first learned, like me, to be skittish

then grew bolder and bolder

then hunger and hungrier


this is the place i always return to: 

sitting on the rooftop with friends,

the best place to have a party

the small aquarium at the end of the pier,

nestled like a secret

where i turned seven and learned to love the sea

catching fireflies between my palms

picking blackberries like love, turning

my fingertips the same small color as their skin


this is the place i always return to: 

the city i hurry down

the town i take to heart

the place i still, will always, call home.