You roll over into a darkness that eases
upon your shoulder. Within
a manageable light, your two faces
discuss themselves: hammer or nail—
nurse or patient? I watch you both
in your desperate slumber, separately,
continuously dreaming fields of pumpkin,
tolling gymnasiums of rock. When you twitch,
I scare—as if I had just wakened.
The crisp sheets slide the light, illuminating
the twin nightstands that move
so easily with nothing to put in them.
Better Than Not
– after Wolfgang Laib
The yellow spray of a decade
of pollen. The essence visits us
for only a moment, vanishes.
Put it in a jar or a tin or else.
Watching the world
from a fourth floor balcony.
How it seems so slow in the silence
and distance. The illusion
of a year gone by. People
can’t count to ten in the realm
of the spirit. At my best
I can stack an oblong block
on top of another and have it
fit jointly past an eye blink,
only pray I can hold onto One
in E minor for more than a second.
He started receiving messages
from the car dealerships
on what not to wear and who
not to talk to too much
at the supermarket. The sun
melted the drapes. He didn’t
gain weight but felt that he did
or should. Everything is too close
to the river. He forgot
their names, their phone numbers,
never got an address. Email,
what’s the use? Everything
he ate tasted like paint, digging
dirt. The silos were empty
except for stacks upon stacks
of discarded baby rattles. The field
filled either with water or light.
He stopped writing letters,
or never began to. His bones
were still very much bones.
The field no longer called to him.
Of course, the sea.
Better Than Not was first published by Spork Press
Minor Leaguer was first published in Philadelphia Review of Books, June 2013
Britt Melewski grew up in New Jersey and Puerto Rico. His poems have appeared in Puerto Del Sol, The Philadelphia Review of Books, Sporkpress, the DMQ Review, and elsewhere. Melewski received his MFA at Rutgers-Newark in 2012. He lives in Brooklyn.