First poetry editor of two pioneer feminist magazines, Aphra and Ms., Yvonne has received several awards including NEAs for poetry (1974/1984), a Leeway for fiction (2003), and a Pushcart Prize (v. 6). Recent anthologies include: Black in the Middle (Belt), Horror USA: California (Soteira), Home: An Anthology (Flexible), Quiet Diamonds 2019/2018 (Orchard Street), 161 One-Minute Monologues from Literature (Smith and Kraus). Yvonne is the author of an epic trilogy: Iwilla Soil, Iwilla Scourge, Iwilla Rise (Chameleon Productions). Selected publications can be accessed at www.iwilla.com.
Memory’s door key sticks Black flies creep like August sweat What sleeping dog dead?
Grave sweet powder air Ten candles stand guard to bloom My dry voice thickens
Every faucet drips Rust dried and caked in the joints Secret puddles clot
Splinters draw blood Lead paint crackles breath and sits Still muscles curdle
A life Daddy left Despair coats the dull bare floor Love’s grime cannot melt
Mounds of sour sheets Thrown down the linen closet Under the mice stairs
Mother’s crazy house. I, the witness, never free. Forgive me. Forgive.
This poem appeared in Is It Hot In Here Or Is it Just Me?, published under Social Justice Anthologies, the publishing affiliate of Beautiful Cadaver Project Pittsburgh.
Yang YingJia lives in Singapore. Having a quiet passion for writing, she hopes to publish her first collection of poems within this lifetime. Currently, she is actively involved in preventive mental health work at a tertiary hospital. It is also her aspiration to build awareness about depression through her poetry.
Like bad amnesia vanishing
it rushes and hits like an unplanned
drive into a sea of butterflies.
And then the tears.
am I crying for?
Loss of a future,
loss of a soulmate,
loss of the integral support that kept a flimsy
model of myself together of which,
a pile of light plastic pieces.
The baby breaths you gave have discoloured
the dust clings like cobwebs,
soft layers, impossible to separate without also breaking
apart the buds.
In some sense I have allowed sediments to gather,
over and over, untouched.
Is it too late to say I want to go back—
go back to where we haven’t been able to go,
would it be fair
to plead, please, please this time
could we displace, crease after crease and see
if underneath all we’ve ever buried away