Inheritance

Lindsey Miller

What do we inherit
From our ancestors
But the way our eyes shine
But the way our nose curves
But the way our hair moves
But the way our bones connect

What do we inherit
From our predecessors
But the way we get from place to place
But the way we go about our business
But the way we work play sleep
But the way we shamble stumble shuffle

What do we inherit
From our people
But the way we dance
But the way we eat
But the way we live
But the way we die

What do we inherit
From our society
But the way we wage war
But the way we make our peace
But the way we treat neighbors
But the way we look at ‘not me’

What do we inherit
From ourselves
But the way we decide to accept our inheritance

Our inheritance
Is set before us
And we are expected to consume
No questions asked
But there is always a
Choice


Lindsey Miller graduated from Byron Center High School. She enjoys reading, writing, music, and anything science-related. She writes poetry to process life’s tough moments and to express herself in ways other formats simply don’t allow for. Her poem “Inheritance” explores the argument of nature vs. nurture as well as societal traditions and expectations.

a surrender

Kate Griffin

the first day back
I laid in the grass outside
and marveled at the birds.
they were hidden in the branches above,
but every sound belonged to them
this space was theirs.

I had forgotten what it was like
to have your world
overwhelmed
by the music of another species–
bright trills and calls
chirps soft at the edge of consciousness
melodies and duets following some unknown rule–
so I laid there
and listened.
I memorized their patterns
rolled their names over my tongue
chickadee
blue jay
ruby-throated hummingbird
eastern mockingbird

I laid there,
until the weeds began to
sprout through my fingertips
no one knows how they got there
but they show up anyway,
every spring
I watched the mockingbird return
every hour
to the same bush
where he would open his throat
and cry with joy
and I felt myself ache
as the buttercups began to bloom
under my toenails.
the bees came then, their fat,
fuzzy bodies gliding with such quiet
I watched them alight on my nose,
which was by this point,
covered in dogwood blooms.

enter: the hummingbird.
the urgent thrum of his wings cutting through
the clover winding its way over my ears
his throat was so brilliant they call it ruby,
call it bloody,
but all I smelled was sweetness–
maybe it was the strawberries
creeping their way up my calves.

the cicadas began to
burst through the ground
wings shaking off their
seven year slumber
monks joining the orchestra
after years of silence–
no wonder their drone
was so deafening.
the first one molted
left his exoskeleton clinging
to my finger
i thought about crushing it.

the mockingbird returned
and I swear he had been listening to me.
I stared at him
at his place atop his particular bush
and he stared at me
and I could feel the questions
he had for me
but by then,
the hollyhocks had filled my mouth.

a daffodil burst through my chest.
I closed my eyes.


Kate Giffin is a poet and post-bacc neuroscience research assistant. Her poetry can be found in Shooter Literary MagazineThe Health Humanities Journal, and Glintmoon. She has lived in nine states and a U.S. territory and is currently calling North Carolina home. During quarantine, she kept herself busy reading, gardening, and cooking recipes from new cuisines.

pretty

Laney DeBrabander

i look down at you with the word pretty at the tip of my tongue
i don’t say it
i remember the last boy i called pretty
all sharp mouthed and angry
he tells me boys can’t be pretty
my protest dies when i see the look in his eye
and i know it is not up for discussion

this is how i come to fall in love only with boys who paint their nails
and who put their hair up like kids
with none of the bumps smoothed out
i fall in love with the soft edges that won’t cut me when i try to reach out
i fall in love with the small smiles of your kisses
not just the shape of your mouth

i fall in love with the fact that you can pin me down
and i still feel more free
than when the look in his eyes tells me to shut my mouth
i guess i swear too much
and that’s only okay when other people do it

i learn when to let go
i tell the boy with the long hair that we are just friends
and i wonder which box do i put my cowardice in
is there a difference between protecting yourself and shutting everyone else out?
if so, i do not know what it is
when even pretty boys remind me
what it means to be a sin

handsome*, sorry
i wash pretty out of my mouth like a bad word
i forget that there is no god here to protect me
from boys who know it all
or my body being poised to fall right off the edge of the map
and i wonder where in the bible does it say i am so disposable
throw me away in last week’s trash
move on

i learn to fall only for boys who cling to things
you bury your face in my shoulder and i know
you will not let me go
you tell me you miss me between kisses
and hey, maybe there’s hope
maybe you were never taught to keep your hands in fists
and your feelings in your throat
i am used to boys who vomit guilt and fall apart in my arms when no one is looking
boys who could never admit that the next day

i learn to fall only for boys who do not lie to me about whether or not they have a problem
i learn i cannot bottle things up
like the liquor he told me i wasn’t allowed to drink
being drunk is a sin too, didn’t you know?
i fall in love with boys who do not use the bible as a weapon
the sharp edges of the paper may cut my skin
but what does that matter when i’m already in shreds
i fall in love with boys who do not think they need weapons to use against me
boys who bring tape to put me back together
but step back when they realize i already have glue

i never wanted to be fixed
and you listen when i tell you that
which is new
i am used to being in love with boys who say they can save me
and leave me wondering what it is that i need to be saved from
there is nothing wrong with being broken
it doesn’t make me any less whole
you believe me when i tell you that
and when i find the scar on your shoulder
you are not afraid to tell me what it’s from

i learn to fall only for boys that i think are strong
and i think that you are strong
because you are capable of telling me the moments when you are not
you do not zip your jacket up past your chin
and hope that closing yourself in will somehow make it easier
though you do pull on your shirtsleeves when you’re sad
the same way i do when i’m sad
and i think, perhaps, that this is actually real
and i am terrified to let you out of the box that i put you in in my mind
because i do not know what will happen
i do not know what will happen with us but more importantly i do not know what will happen with you and i know better than to fall in love with a ghost story.


Laney DeBrabander is a junior at Aquinas College studying Psychology with a minor in English Literature. She began writing poetry as a way to express herself, which evolved into writing poetry as a coping mechanism. This particular poem woke her up in the middle of the night, and she couldn’t go back to sleep until she got all of the words out.

Urban Predator

A.R Jones

Ankles bloody with
angry blisters, rug burns
chafing the inside
of my thighs — you
followed me until
I could no longer walk,
until I am nothing more
than an animal’s ribs
gaunt from your
reaping.

You consumed me
whole, stripped the
flesh off my arms until
the veins became wilted
flowers. Left my bones
to dry and decay as I
tried, tried, failed
to stand.

Knees locking,
3 a.m sweats
where I dream
of your hands.
Linoleum cold on my knees
as I hunch over white
stained porcelain. Empty
stomachs on a tempest
mind. Find Me
in the water stains.
Lose me in the
Storm.

This name of mine
lost its meaning.
There is no sound —
a forgotten
rhyme.
Nothing of me
left for even
the vultures to pick —
I am merely
an unmarked grave,
dying daisies titled
“What if…?”


A.R Jones is an aspiring author who dabbles in both poetry and fiction. She’s a college student who plans to enroll at Grand Valley University for the fall semester. She intends to major in Secondary Education with a specification in English so she can pursue her goals of teaching high school English. However, she fully intends to chase her dream of being published and putting out inspiring work. Her two largest influences are Emily Dickinson and Sylvia Plath.

My Panic is Real

Rachel Kramer

I have anxiety
I’ve battled with it for 9 years and counting
I go to therapy
I’ve gotten the diagnosis
And I’ve gotten the help

My anxiety causes panic attacks
I can’t breathe and I can’t see
And nasty thoughts fill my head
I was just 15 when I got diagnosed

It wasn’t until 2 years of therapy had passed
that my parents decided to try and help
They got me a dog, a good, strong pup
I named her Cassie, and I loved her

A year after I got Cassie, I decided it wasn’t enough
I would have panic attacks away from home
When Cassie was nowhere near me
in a store where she had to wait outside
or in school every day for years

Still living at home, I depended on my parents
I couldn’t make Cassie an official Emotional Support Animal
at least not without my parents’ money
If I could, she could follow me anywhere
Eventually, my begging paid off, Cassie could be trained

After 2 years of demanding work, Cassie was certified
Finally, she never had to leave my side, I never had to worry
At least that’s what I thought
But so many places don’t allow Emotional Support Animals
They’re treated differently from other Service Animals
Hotels, restaurants, stores, and even my work said no
I felt lied to, tricked into feeling safe

I felt so trapped, missing out because of a dog
I couldn’t go places with Cassie
I couldn’t go places without Cassie
I’ve never felt so held back by an animal
It was so frustrating!

It took me a while to realize that it wasn’t her fault
She was there to help me, not hold me back
It took some patience and understanding
but I knew that Cassie was amazing
I love her
Without her, my anxiety would have taken over my life

I’ve had panic attacks in school
I remember them clear as day

They’re looking at me, I know it
I look crazy sitting here alone
They’re looking at me, I can tell
It’s because I have no friends
They must all hate me
I can’t see clearly, everything is dark
I think my heart is going to fall out
Is this what a heart attack is?
They must all be looking—
I feel the nudge of a cold nose
I dig my hands in the soft fur
I stare deep into the brown eyes
I feel my troubles melt away
My heartbeat slows and color returns
I see backs of heads; no one is looking
It’s just you and me, and now I feel fine

Going to school every day is hard
Meeting people is hard, they only see a dog
She brings in attention, but it isn’t all good

Cassie is my Service Animal
I have anxiety and panic attacks
Yes, I’ve been diagnosed
No, I’m not just looking for attention
Yes, she is trained
No, you can’t pet her
I’m sorry, please stay
She’s working, you can’t distract her
No, I didn’t mean to insult you
I’m sorry, please stay…

Finding real friends was hard
Finding a home was harder
I remember searching everywhere

What a nice house
A good place to call home
Quality utilities, and at a fair price
A cozy feeling, I know lazy Sundays await
I’ll talk to the landlord
Get the papers straight
Oh, that’s a new sign
I must have missed it before
“No Dogs Allowed,” that’s what it says
That dirty old sign, they’ll take my dog
They make no exceptions, even for you
I can’t breathe when you’re gone
I need you
We’ll have to keep looking
We’ll find a real place to call home
Somewhere we’re safe and can live as we please

If people knew how hard it was
Then there wouldn’t be so many problems
Then I could study hard and focus
Then I could live my life alongside others
Then I could find a place to call my own
Look past the dog, see the person

mirror in the sky

Shaun Steverson

clouds are the eyes of the sky.
the sun, like ourselves, has a soul
and through the clouds you can see it, just like mine.
gleeful fluffy whites, often shift to darkness.
and when the rain falls the heavens cry.
rain turns to thunder, tears into screams.
thunder is a cry of anguish, they struggle, they try.
clouds open up, the mouth taking in the whole.
sun light, sun rays, sunshine, bright.


Shaun Steverson wrote this poem during one of the writing sessions at the poetry club he co-founded with Derek Fosbender. The structure is Magic 9: “abacadaba” and describes the connection each person has with the natural world and how the both of them reflect each other.

Issue Six

Featured Review

Cantoras by Carolina De Robertis

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Poems

Alaina Heffernan

Amber Walker

Andrea Hamlin

Brenna Nickel

James Anderson

Jessica Blandford

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Jessica M. Barnard

Kat Tan

Margaret Rose

Natalie Mouw

Yasmin Alemayehu

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The art in Issue 6 is by Robert Fraser. Check out more of his work on Instagram.

The cover photo is by Kelsey May.

Interested in submitting to Hyype? Send your creative work in any genre (poetry, fiction, lyric essays, visual art, photography, etc.) to hyypeonline@gmail.com.

Finally! A beach read for women who love women

Cantoras (Knopf, 2020) is Carolina De Robertis’s fifth novel and swept me away by page ten. I was expecting a cheesy romance novel about women who just wanted to have a little fun with each other behind their husbands’ backs; what I got instead was a raw, powerful novel with gorgeous prose and salty scenes that examines sexuality, attraction, and political governing of women’s bodies in a late-twentieth century Uruguyan landscape.

Set during a period of terrifying political oversight and tyranny, the story follows five women (Flaca, La Venus, Malena, Paz, and Romina) as they leave their city for the privacy and sanctuary of a secluded beach, where they can be free to express their not-so-straight sexualities and talk about the regime without fear of being overheard and turned into the military. The historical significance of this book created a deep admiration and gratitude in me for what so many folks in other countries endure in order to love who they want to love; I’ve never had to experience real persecution for being queer, and I became acutely aware of that privilege while reading this book.

I loved the characters, even in the midst of flawed decisions and drama. Their allegiance to each other and the ways they continue to care for each other throughout the years, even after messy break-ups, even through secrets and childhood traumas, is incredible and a rare occurence in most of the novels I’ve read. De Robertis is a profound thinker and a skilled writer whose sentences pile into a rush of moment and emotion:

What was she doing. What had she been thinking, what— and then the woman appeared in the small bathroom and without a word turned off the light and locked the door. Dark. Limbs. Heat, body. She so close, waiting, and Paz for a single instant terrified that she would lose this chance because she was too awed to move, but then she did move and the woman’s mouth was everything, was joy in her mouth, her skin a balm to fingertips, her breathing sharp as they kept on in absolute silence, there could be no sound, no words, only touch and rhythm…

I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting a new perspective or craving realistic, high-quality queer lit. You’ll find friends in this story and feel their pain and celebrate their joy. You’ll long for a beach hut of your own, where you can swim in the ocean away from the stress-inducing political nightmare we’re living in today. And most importantly, you’ll respect the hell out of folks who live their true selves despite overwhelmingly animosity and the threat of oppression.

Cantoras is available from your local bookseller for $26.95 or from your local library for free.

In love

by Jay Anderson

The first time we are six, maybe seven and I’m trying to impress her at the bottom of the sledding hill. She had tripped over her own feet in her big snow boots and hurt her ankle. I tried packing snow around her foot to ice it so it didn’t hurt. She smiled. Her brown hair is smattered with snowflakes, her face covered in freckles and red from the cold. I helped her up the hill when the bell rung.

I am ten. He is tall and smells like something I’ll never forget but can’t quite place. We hold hands secretly in class while taking notes and share a seat on the bus. We share earbuds and I feel lightheaded when he rubs my thumb with his.

I am fifteen. She is blonde and laughs a lot and I think she is gorgeous. We kiss in an empty parking lot in front of a ferris wheel. We kiss again before getting in the car, after ice cream, in the tent before we go to bed. She is sunshine and I feel alive.

I am sixteen and he is darker. He sings quietly as he plays guitar for me. We say I love you out loud on my couch after the school dance. We wonder about marriage, about traveling the world. His darkness seeps into the corners of me but I ignore the pain. We hold hands and have to sit often because he’s too cold and too thin. Saying goodbye feels a little like dying and living at the same time.

I am seventeen and I don’t realize it until it’s too late. It burns fast and bright and leaves me breathless. We smoke weed out of a glass elephant and fall asleep side by side and I feel electric. I look at him when he is looking away and want to reach out but I never do. He is beyond my touch and I have to let him go.

 


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Jay Anderson is an 18-year-old poet whose poetry focuses on mental health, being queer, and gender.