Melissa Stein

Velvet and shit: I summoned it

and come it did. The horses’ flanks 

are rank with sweat and flies and I 

remember you between my legs 

achieving for an hour or so. 

We parted on the best of terms: 

the sweet unsayable loss that’s gain 

in drag. The day hurt a little

brighter for all that sharpening. 

I have a turnstile heart; it opens

madly and shuts just so.

In morning cold, the horses’ 

breath takes on the shape of terrible 

blooms. The hoof-stamps sound less 

urgently. I’m not talking about my heart. 


Found In Volume 44, No. 02
Read Issue
  • Stein
Melissa Stein
About the Author

Melissa Stein’s poetry collection Rough Honey won the 2010 APR/Honickman First Book Prize, selected by Mark Doty, and was published by American Poetry Review in association with Copper Canyon Press. Her poems have appeared in The Southern Review, New England Review, Best New Poets 2009, Harvard Review, North American Review, and many other journals and anthologies.