Literary Orphans

Erasure and Other things
by Kambria Vance


Unsung song of Wilfred Owen
Only the monstrous anger of the guns.

________can be heard from the soapboxes calling for them from sad hands.

Screaming glimmers of good-byes.

________My stubbornness flowers the tenderness of patient minds.


Voices of pleasure in the light-blue trees

________and girls glanced lovelier as the old times, will never feel again.

Slim subtle hands, all of them touch queer disease.

________This disease, I poured it down the veins and half my lifetime lapsed


Someone had said I didn’t have to beg

________Smiling they wrote out my lies.


Tonight it seemed I escaped encumbered sleepers to be fixed.

________Lifting distressful hands I knew by their dead false smiles

we stood in Hell.

________I watched idly by as a tale of potential endings unfolds.


After the wildest beauty mocked my glee

________I knew they would be swift to miss the memories of stress

Then, when even truths began to lie too deep for my spirit

________You, my friend, you frowned through me.

I smiled at you.

________Because my forever is too close to stop doing this.

O Typekey Divider

Prufrock wants to make love but can’t

the evening is spread out

upon a table

of restlessness.


Quoting the killer in your life

The yellow fog licked its tongue into the corners of the evening.


Let’s fall upon a soft October night,

there will be time

To face the faces that you and I  meet;

There will be time for days of







Time for you and time for me,


But do I dare? Do I dare turn back and disturb your universe?


For I have known them all already,


I have measured out my life with the voices dying

Beneath the music.

And I have known the eyes already, known them all—

The eyes that fix you

The eyes that shouldn’t fix you.


Shall I say, I have watched the smoke of lonely men

I should have smoothed your hair with long fingers,

Stretched on the floor, you and me.


But though I have wept

I have seen the places you would cut

If I hadn’t sang to you that day.


And in short, I was afraid.

To smile,

To come from the dead,

Come back to tell you that is not what I meant at all;

That is not it, at all.


I do not think that they will sing to me.

they know what it will do to you.

Slapping the asymmetrical beauty off of your face.


And in short,

Two sads

do not make a happy couple.


It makes two sads


two complacents

that aren’t alone.

O Typekey Divider


Your voice box sent

Shock waves Sound waves Shivers

through my systems


You couldn’t look at me

out of drunkenness

I couldn’t look at you

out of fear

that I would get lost.


Your sounds charm me

Noises fascinate you

Our entangled sensations

Shot out an infectious vibe

Everyone could feel

But not experience, because




were at the epicenter.

It was the most beautiful

fleeting moment I have ever attended and

I didn’t know how to tell you

That you


The shell encasing my human.


I will take the titles you have given me

And brand them on my collar bones so

People can see how you make me feel.


You said

You, miss. You are beautiful.


I said

You, sir.

You are unlike like anyone I have ever met. And you asked me what I meant.


I said I’ll write a poem

And maybe figure it out that way.


Well… at 6 a.m. while listening

To your ribcage cadence

I tried.


But somehow I lose the words in




The words get lost on the only road that leads

my brain

to my fingertips.


So I’ll tell a truth for every dare I give you.


I just can’t right now

______________Try anyways

I don’t know who I am

______________Go exploring with me

I’ve never been alone before

______________Tell me I don’t have to be

You’re leaving in a year

______________The star that shines twice as bright burns half as long



I fear that this is something that belongs

in a museum

on a pedestal

rigged with alarms

surrounded by guards


because if I were to touch whatever this is…

surely it would shatter.


______________Dare: super glue and duct tape

O Typekey Divider

Kambria is 21 year old college student fascinated with language. She lives in her hometown studying communication whilst eating too much junk food and getting tattoos. She is relatively new to the published poetry scene but looks forward to getting her name out there in a different form.


O Typekey Divider

–Art by Dia Takácsová