Landscape with Written Statement

You wrap my ribs in gauze—
an experiment with the word tenderly

after your hands left my throat too bruised to speak.

While winter sun squints at the ghost flower
dying in its shabby terra cotta

far from home

men tell me to be honest about my role in the incident:

Okay, yes
I should have stayed inside

while you railed from the sidewalk

but my confused heart got into the car.

What happened is
I once spent too much time in the desert

so pogonip seems glamorous hung stuck in the trees
like when blood dries on skin

and I want to wear it

out for an evening,
pat my hands over its kinky path down my face

because: f*** you,

you didn’t find me here.
I brought you here.

From Landscape with Sex and Violence (YesYes Books, 2017). Copyright © 2017 by Lynn Melnick. Published in Poem-a-Day on March 23, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.