poem index

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

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

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

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