Seven in the evening
the announcement blew up
the city’s telephone lines
My sedan was jogging down the lane
along with news
as contagious as diseases.
I looked outside the window
sensing a feeling of tension
traveled up my stomach
as if I could hear
the deafening intelligence supernova.

The capital was bombarded by missiles
they said
A biker was blown up on his way home
they said
Children in the basement
holding up colorful textbooks
without knowing what was happening
they said.

The media was flooded
with chatter coming from here and there.
The naive people slaughtered in ignition
raped by plunging missiles
and napalm is their funeral pyre.
Child, do not open your eyes
so you will not cry
Child, please do not raise your head
so the pain will get no chance to penetrate
and the fear will not linger.

We are driven to be silent
by the coming years of instability.
They have told us “Shut up” for so long
that when the time is here
we are not able to speak again.

I am running out of inspiration
because I have unhealthy ways of exerting stimuli
from indignation and resentment.
I once told myself ignorance is a choice
but my hypersensitivity drags me
into another night of restlessness.
I may die of thirst or hunger
but I would be killed by my vague anxiety
before they come to me.

It is not until the normality is distorted
that we are woken up by the deafening siren
that shall we realize
what happiness means
what contentment is.
Can the suffering of others
being reused as a rotten joke
just like swallowing someone’s leftovers?
What is the extent of sanity,
and what is the extent of happiness?
To me, it is like inhaling and exhaling
you do not get tired of breathing.
When the music’s over
you turn out the lights
you reach out to the everlasting skyline
and the dazzling neon lights shivered at your sight
When the streets are packed with cars not rushing to anywhere
and the others’ small talk.
Whenever you get fed up with the constancy of life
remember how precious it is.

Skyler Luo is currently enrolled in an American high school, non- native English speaker, and writer. Introverted, but glad to talk about cats. Collector of classic & indie rock records, and a foodie.