Melnick: Two Poems : Magazine : A Public Space

Two Poems

Poetry Lynn Melnick


Mostly you just disappear. When I don’t see you dead
I know you’re alive, I can see you by the clothes you’re wearing,

by your boot print on the unloved grass.
We make an ugly street ugly, a giant room stripped,

its high wood beams and bed big enough for six of me
or three of us. You swear we have no roof.

One morning we counted chickens
and ate their eggs for breakfast. We played with hats.

I think I thought your weight was on me,
but you were vanishing, even as you sculpted us from clay.

Someone has shown up for me, I sense a chariot,
the sky is preparing to rain on everything.

We forgot to put the doves away.
I can barely see you. I think someone has shown up for me,

can you see headlights? Hear footsteps?
Some remember my snatching an outstretched hand.

And in a room of rafters you do what must be done,
under moonlight, though it’s days before you are found,

chickens gone, doves in trees, my bust smashed and mouth
punched in so its grin runs into an eye, winking.


In my worries I am plummeting down steps,
industrial, medieval, breezy welcome

stairs like little landings where a foot could catch.
In some nightmares my breasts are so misshapen

they are no longer mammalian, quite,
this inevitable evolution we can’t call progress.

Those mornings I wake exactly as I fell,
a little upright, on my back, static and sweaty,

and always next to you. Call it relief
to find everything as it was, though one summer I fell up

and up and up and it was a good lesson
in the sham of gravity.

And once, when we found ourselves in another summer,
overlooking an entire city, we thought

we couldn’t get older or higher,
though in my worries I am both, and falling.
No. 12

No. 12


Lynn Melnick is the author of If I Should Say I Have Hope (YesYes Books) and the social media director for VIDA: Women in Literary Arts.


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