A Poem By Lynn Melnick

When California Arrives It Lasts All Year

Dreadful sorry and packed for balmy air,
I’ve no use for this shudder of adventure,
these conspiracy-worn streets puffed with pollen and froth.

There’s nothing like nurture to seduce a frontier
into collapse. In a cavern, in a canyon,
violet roses hung like bats.

I bend myself over the bed this time
just to see if I break, and when I don’t
I belly up, sick from the rotten bill of goods

I keep selling myself, herring boxes without tops.
It’s not that I didn’t exist here,
ankle deep in the foaming brine.

I have tried to keep the chalkboard clean
even as dust clapped a cloud about my head. I came here to learn, no?
And all I do is cover my ears. Please, no more recollection.

I can’t hear you. I can’t hear you.

Lynn Melnick’s first book of poems, If I Should Say I Have Hope, is just out from YesYes Books.

Sit down by the fire and warm yourself up with a whole bunch more poems and stuff. You may contact the editor at poems@theawl.com.