Poetry from Samantha Melamed


Wondering, what if I let go and drift away

Like releasing a bouquet of balloons—

To float in different directions—

After a countdown to one

(And a subzero whisper)

From the same crowd blamed for setting Barabbas free.

I’d like to be a blue balloon,

Going off to who-knows-where.

I think I’d fly, too,

Above lights, people, mountains, above air.

In 40 hours, I’d deflate

And drift down to Egypt.

But here on the ground, breathing a heavy air—

I cannot bear holding them any longer.

Hunger (ii)

you sat spoon-feeding me persimmon after persimmon        choo-choo-ing                      after persimmon          next thing I know I’m naked on the kitchen floor                  red splotches               said

crawl               strawberries on the concupiscent neck                       how my mouth is bigger than my entire being                       when they say

you look ravishing they really mean you look appetizing enough to rape                 the ant hauls a planet on his back                              

tapping at your bedroom window       the most disquieting part about the vampire-verse is that the little death is completely consensual

The Slap

We aren’t subtle creatures.

Why trickle when we could

roar like dragon’s breath?

And make them wonder

how man makes man

while water carved stone

into molten rock and


turquoise pool onto

emerald pool. And

all the while, man

hates man and man

kills man.

We haunt, too—this force.

A marching band

marching in place. Even

when darkness descends

upon our blues and greens and deems

silence more pronounced,

we beat the highway

traffic and the sound of

race cars whizzing


We haunt, too:  a military

striking down jet

streams, showering just

the fish with nothing but

the water they breathe.