Spoken Word: ‘Untitled’ by Briseis Perez

This piece placed first for spoken word submissions in the 2022 Ánimo Voices Writing and Art Competition, which invited students to respond to the open prompt “I’ve Got Something to Say.” The competition is an opportunity to motivate, recognize, and celebrate our strong student voices through writing, spoken word, and art.



Stop and think for things go by in a blink, I stand or sit and think for I fnd it hard to speak and when I don't people ignore me, exclude me, and call me names. I don't know what to do and when I find something to do I can't do what I found to do for I'm scared of doing, scared of embarrassment of being an outcast of coming in last and my past

I lay awake at 4,5,6 in the morning for I fear to get up for it dark at this time, I lie on this bed asleep or awake late or early my eyes wide open for it hurts to close them and to keep them open but I fear to be asleep sometimes I weep Here I can't move I don't go anywhere but at school, I sit sometimes I daydream and get distracted. Sometimes I'm called but I don't hear them and when I'm told to speak in front of one or two with the flow I can go when I can go with the flow I say what I mean but get stuck once or twice but ask me to speak to all are more than 5 I don't know what to say I don't know what to do keep on thinking but what I say is not what I think and what I think is not what I say I can speak but sometimes I freak my heart skips a beat I don't know what to say I repeat what I say and stutter and stutter a lot. When I'm up here in the world that it's near this is what I fear when I talk when I walk my legs go numb and I feel like I'm going dumb I don't know what to do with monster creep up in my mind I know happiness is what I'm supposed to find All Though Sometimes I Cry and lookup of the clouds and sky wish for rain to come over and wash away the pain wish for rain to mask my tears to hide my fears to hide my frown change my smile upside down for when I speak I change myself for I can't help but think what others think about me when I talk all that shows is my anxiety I can't face my reality I can't tell a truth from a fake I can't tell what is from my mind that I take or what I make. I try to let go of these chains of pain I try to be me and be free I try to escape from this cage and turn a new page but it's hard to face your reality with anxiety I try to be me I try to be free to get away from these chains of pains that are me

That I make that I create and I'm the problem that just won't go away but I know I can speak and to those who've called me a freak to those who've called me weird who've talked behind my back I have issues with trust but I'll leave you in the dust I can't make friends easily but when It comes to words in a master and I can speak faster and right now I'm louder as loud as I can be and right now I'm me, I am free

Thank you for your criticism that makes me, me.