“Peat, Hearth” by Austin Yu

What can I do to lose the thought of him?
All carnal vestige of our age is gone:
his form, the music, the scent of his skin,

yet one chore lingers, governing and grim:
dismantle the narrative, song by song—
do what I can to lose all thought of him.

Unravel the tangle of linen, limbs…
the footprint of his flat, the stifled yawn
between words. Forget the scent of his skin

at the crook of his throat, the sleepy grin
as we throttled toward indelicate dawns.
Do this, and more—discard the thought of him.

Eviscerate all trace of what we’ve been:
friends—no—nor strangers—a phenomenon
of form and music, a sense in the skin

of fit and concert, a cleaving of whims.
I can yield these tokens (I can)—move on—
save one refrain, one fragile thought of him—
just one word—two—for the scent of his skin.


Austin Yu lives in Brisbane (California), just outside of San Francisco, with his husband and dog. As of last year, he can regularly be seen singing in local musical theatre productions, and it was through performing that he found the rekindled desire to write. Art begets art, as they say, and he hopes to have much more art to share.