A Poem by Lynn Melnick

by Mark Bibbins, Editor

Some Ideas for Existing in Public

I think you should grip your dick through your jeans and ask me

if I can handle it because you know I can, right?
I’m here for you.

I think you should overlie me at a bus bench
and invite me to sit on your face.

I think you should track me down
the block and clarify how you’d like to split my slit open

until I pass out.

(Once, as a kid, I was balancing on a ledge
all morning thinking no one

could see me until a man walked by and captured my chin in his grip
and called me pretty.)

I think you should screw me sideways right here on the sidewalk
like you said you might like to screw me

sideways before you took off
past the cop who said it’s cureless to prove the crime so

come on, sure
screw me sideways, and why just sideways, why not all ways? Why not diagonal?

I think you should whistle so loud at my fat ass
that I jump like a street rodent and you couldn’t be more correct, it is a shame

my fat ass is walking away

from you because why is it walking away from you?
Why am I walking away from you? Why am I here on the sidewalk?

I’m yours.

Lynn Melnick is author of If I Should Say I Have Hope (YesYes Books, 2012) and co-editor, with Brett Fletcher Lauer, of Please Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poets for the Next Generation (Viking, 2015). She teaches poetry at 92Y in NYC and is the social media and outreach director for VIDA: Women in Literary Arts.

You will find more poems here. You may contact the editor at poems@theawl.com.