Two Poems by Lynn Melnick 






Inside that church in Hollywood
   you don’t want to believe what I am about to tell you 

when you say I never speak when I say:
   some boys take a beautiful girl

        and slam her against the wall.

Hey, buddy, I didn’t fight my way back
   from all these bruises and breaks

to listen to you talk about my tits
   under string-lights. I don’t even know you.

Sure, I do the stupidest things when I’m miles from here.
   It is all that freedom I don’t recognize.

But I have nothing to say to you
   when you point out how far you’d let me stumble

in all the ways you listed down through the netting in the plastic trees
   meant to protect the plastic trees

outside that church in Hollywood
   where all the famous fuck-ups emerge from the basement 

into a mob of cigarettes clouding up the already murky sky.
   No, not like stars, buddy.

       More like the end of the world.  








I don’t know why you dug up the milkweed 

near where we met and I knew you would have me

except that
maybe I needed a gift more tenacious

than what the phony winter would give us:
green bananas lifted from a corner store

still bitter
when men came for money 

because there was never any money.

I lost most of that night and half the year after

I got so lazy I’d just step over needles in the dark

and rub myself in the doorway
on the way to amnesia.

But yes I remember you had kissed me first
and threw my two-bit body skyward you were so happy

and it took longer —the future taking on a compassion
that neither of us could believe in—

it took longer than usual for me to come down.