Lynn Melnick
Landscape with Thesaurus and Awe

There are 24 synonyms for the word envy.

And although one of them is hatred and one of them is lusting


no one envies me.


If I could just make it to morning without selling myself


one day I might have some land

beyond the ficus pot


whose heart leaves leak their poison

inside this slummy garage


where I sleep daytimes

in a city I’m sure I’ve mentioned before.


I am furious for answers

inside the book of words I stole from a stranger’s back pocket.


You see, through the years when everyone is dying

I remain clean.


That's why I believe there could be a God.


There are 5 synonyms for the word redemption.

and 46 for fear.


One of them is chickenheartedness

and another is awe.


Only my body is for sale.




Found In Volume 45, No. 02
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Lynn Melnick
About the Author

Lynn Melnick is the author of Refusenik (forthcoming in 2022), Landscape with Sex and Violence (2017), and  If I Should Say I Have Hope (2012), all with YesYes Books. I've Had to Think Up a Way to Survive, a book about Dolly Parton that is also a memoir, is forthcoming from the University of Texas Press in 2022.