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About this Poem 

“Unusual for me, I wrote the title to this poem before I wrote the poem. I wanted to try out some optimism! In most of my ‘Landscape’ poems, California’s flora is the backdrop to various horribleness. But here I wanted it to be a kind of antidote to that horribleness.”
Lynn Melnick

Landscape with Happily Ever After

Near midnight I’m held
hostage to the hazy upshot in the corner

velvet near a laced up tree and curious how I got here.

What a crowd! I think
and I think I should hoard my stash in my shoe.


Did you catch the census takers trying to autocorrect
the shelterbelt out of my history

when meanwhile

I’ve been fending off elements
since I first showed up at this latitude so

I don’t trust easy.


In 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
you ask me outside

where the music dims
against the complicated bramble

and I love how the moon

is gilding the rusted basketball hoop in the driveway
and bouncing off the sheen of the rubber tree

and onto this fable
in a city that bleeds its saline soil

into another difficult year.

Copyright © 2014 by Lynn Melnick. Used with permission of the author.

Copyright © 2014 by Lynn Melnick. Used with permission of the author.

Lynn Melnick

Lynn Melnick

Lynn Melnick is the author of Landscape with Sex and Violence (YesYes Books, 2017) and If I Should Say I Have Hope (YesYes Books, 2012).

by this poet

poem

Maybe you’re not the featherweight champ
of all the cutthroat combat sports

(fifteen and pregnant
again)

but you’d convert your ring corner
into a slaughterhouse

before you’d inquire after human kindness.


In the humdrum flare outside the clinic
you wait for a ride,

2
poem
A shattered bottle tore through my hand last month and split 
a vein until every finger was purple and I couldn’t
 
make even a tentative fist. I used the other hand to indicate
 
2
poem
You wrap my ribs in gauze—
an experiment with the word tenderly
 
after your hands left my throat too bruised to speak.
 
While winter sun squints at the ghost flower
dying in its shabby terra cotta
 
far from home
 
men tell me to be honest about my role in the incident:
 
Okay, yes
I should have stayed