Skylar Yap is an artist/poet who dabbles in every medium that she can get her hands on. Since her first publication in the 2020 SingPoWriMo anthology, she has been embarking on a journey to refine her musings of Angst and Anarchy. Her works are inspired by Southeast Asian forms, Baudelaire's philosophies and a cesspool of lived experiences.
the last child that i loved so dearly showed me her
favourite plushie and its three backups. she was sick
of losing and losing so she kept her loves cramped in
the back of her wardrobe, and she could replace them over
and over. i lost her to an eight-story building but i didn’t
have other seven-year-olds in the back of my wardrobe.
Trent Busch, native of rural West Virginia, lives in Georgia where he makes furniture. His poems have appeared in The Best American Poetry, Poetry, The Nation, Threepenny Review, North American Review, The Kenyon Review, and The American Scholar. His poem “Edges of Roads” was the 2016 First Place winner of the Margaret Reid Poetry Prize, published by Winning Writers. His recent book of poetry, not one bit of this is your fault, was published by Cyberwit.net in 2019.
It was not the pain at all,
the first few mornings refusing
the excuses others made for him
to prop the leg and stay off it.
He shaved daily then, resting his
foot on the banister, watching
neighbors disappear into the fall
days, easy jokes with hometown bite.
When snow came, he sat at windows,
shirt untucked, crutches put away,
watching, bone nearly healed, storm clouds
wither, emptied of their fury.
And sat there still after spring rains
lost their look of daring and summer
brought the oddness of the sudden
strangers passing a forbidden house
which, like him, weathered without pain
into years. And only he, used
then to judgment, could understand
the power of its helplessness.
Yesterday there was a voice;
today there is none. That’s the way
it is when you lose the sound of
someone who’s been always in your ear.
You heard the ring and you took it,
all those years of distinguishing
one tone from another, then
filtering out the hurt not meant
to last longer than the moment;
the it’s all right you said later,
the tear that came too easily
dried after years of subtle wear.
It will not awake for breakfast
to say the sun they promised might
just come today, hoping eaves held
until that fellow came to fix them.
Today is sunny; sound carries well
out of the west where a breeze brings
the soft talk of neighbors telling
the postponement of pressing repair.
But voice is not there—the way
it told the clock, the obits in
the paper, the natural way
it broke between dishes and hands.