Here’s a dustbowl drenched in eucalyptus,
in the middle of nowhere
where I’ve been some dozen times.
Here’s a fire hydrant, brilliant, swallowed
by the shrunken brush. I hug it like it loves me,
lick it like it’s mine. I’m itching
and aching and bored. I need you to be born.
Make new what was never new, make it rain.
I’m killing bees with my bare hands.
I’ve ridden all the stable horses.
When I use a canteen
I love the word canteen.
I have lived on earth for thirty-one years now.
At twelve my legs gave on the bend.
At twenty I held a posy so close I hated it,
panicked, gave it away to ghosts.
Today you are inside me, promising,
swelling us, what kind of miracle
sitting down would be.
On the next hill there’s a movie set,
or a pep rally, it’s hard to tell in the shimmering heat.
It’s all tumbledown menacing, maybe a clothesline.
Windbreak branches ornament with intent,
litter the ground with their gum.
We aren’t native to this land.
It’s time to plant what is. It’s time to go home.
Lynn Melnick’s poems have appeared in Boston Review, Paris Review, jubilat and LIT. Poems are forthcoming in A Public Space and Narrative. She was born in Indianapolis, grew up in Los Angeles, and currently lives in Brooklyn with her husband and their two daughters.