KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 8: August 2017
Poem: 238 words [R]

The Sound of a Vacant Room

by Arthur Kayzakian
We should have asked the tall white walls
of our house if they could hear us all night
talking out from the side of our necks,
the walls that were plastered from corner to corner,
that seemed to be strangers to one another.
We could have even asked the guitar that sat
on a stand in the corner by the fireplace
since its hallow wooden body has vibrated
our hums through the coils of its strings,
or the ceramic vase above the fireplace
where the occasional housefly sat on the dried roses,
and we could have imagined how the flap of its wings
left a drone whirling around
the circumference of the vase,
but I remember when the vase was gone
then the guitar, then the furniture, and all that was left
were the walls and you who walked out the door,
and you said deep down inside I was nothing
and I remember how your words reverberated
off the walls and into my body and since I was nothing
I wonder if your words bounced about inside me
until they dried like our roses
or if they slid around my body looking for my heart
so they could nestle there and decorate inside me
like our un-played guitar
and while I will never know what happened to your words
I say your name just to hear it echo in my chest.


—Previously published in the San Diego Poetry Annual 2016-17 (Garden Oak Press, February 2017); republished here with author’s permission and kind assistance from Garden Oak Press

Arthur Kayzakian
Issue 8, August 2017

is a poet and MFA candidate at San Diego State University. He is also a contributing editor at Poetry International and one of six co-editors for Magee Park Poets: 2017 Anthology. His poems have appeared, or are forthcoming, in Northridge Review, Chaparral, Taproot Literary Review, The Food Poet, Confrontation, San Diego Poetry Annual, Serving House Journal, and Rufous City Review.

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Exiled in Los Angeles, one of 15 works by nine poets in Undocumented Writers, an Online Feature of Southern Humanities Review

Two poems in Serving House Journal: Ode to Peeing in the Streets (Issue 16, Spring 2017) and The Neanderthal (Issue 15, Fall 2016)

Two Poems in The Black Napkin (Issue 2.3, March 2017): “Not Another Elegy” and “Exiled to Los Angeles”

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