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 If I Should Say I Have Hope (YesYes Books, 2012) and the co-editor, with Brett Fletcher Lauer, of Please Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poets for the Next Generation (Viking, 2015). Recent work has appeared in The New Republic, The Offing, and A Public Space. She is the social media and outreach director for VIDA: Women in Literary Arts.