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poet

Lynn Melnick

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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). She is a fellow at the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers and serves on the Executive Board of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

by this poet

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
poem

Into the fluorescent rough country
headlong into bulks of flesh

impatient to outspend me

and who wouldn’t fold real quick
under the weight of America’s sales and specials.

I believed then I didn’t

that I was different than I am
in my own skin in this

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,

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