Two Poems by Lynn Melnick
LANDSCAPE WITH TWELVE STEPS AND PROP FLORA
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.
LANDSCAPE WITH DEALERS AND COURTSHIP
I don’t know why you dug up the milkweed
near where we met and I knew you would have me
maybe I needed a gift more tenacious
than what the phony winter would give us:
green bananas lifted from a corner store
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.