A Poem By Lynn Melnick

by Mark Bibbins, Editor

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.