Two Poems by Manny Melendez

Manny Melendez

 Manny Melendez

Manuel A. Melendez is a multi-genre writer born and partially raised in Camagüey, Cuba. He has been published in Carolina Muse Literary & Arts Magazine, WayWords Literary Journal, Apricity Magazine, Dream Noir Magazine, and Superstition Review. He has received several awards for his writing (across multiple genres), including The 3rd Annual Derick Burleson Poetry Contest Award, the E. L. Bartlett Contest for Literary Criticism Award, and The Farthest North Fiction Contest Short Story or Single Chapter Award. He will forever be proud of his freshman thesis: the first screenplay adaptation of Call Me by Your Name.


You obsess over this because you are tasked: 

The boat is leaking, frothing tips of hashed-out spires, as they 
decide: which kind of body is most acceptable as the hole-plug. would 
that wood could ever splinter evenly, but some one—some say only one—must not 
prevail at the base of the oxidizing queen. permit 
the notion: that green is not rot but a holy shield, and then return 
to the discovery of what it could be like to become that color and 
live. bent 
around the gaping maw of this boat: the twine akin of some one as a wound in 
technicolor, because the committee is another late traversal through a 
bogging lockjaw, the klaxon clatter of a distant 
pent-up crest of alleluia: in the imperative hallway,
—the scraped moat— a scrap of junkyard paper carries names out to the crushing waves, crying 
to be delivered to the shadeless lakes of their mothers, the milk that spills out 

  without sinking reparations. 

Always this wrong color takes the boot: 

you. The dimmest light by the curdling moon, while 
you brace for the prism that wills no refractions for your 
mewling, hewing hue. the battened hatches to better 
protections from the insistent wreck of our selves 
, fumbling apologetic corpses of papers that watch 
from indistinct pews: how each square can lie, then collapse, from 
exhausting the red performance. the 
browning mouth of bleachers 
is painted over with your smarting flesh, the dictation of more erasures, of 
how to jettison another dark pound of you from this festering fleet, a
kind of kindness, light in lightness. the digesting mirror. 
yet our fervent stench is unabating and I
diminish the thought 
of: swimming in a riverbed that can keep witness to what we 
slough, the smothered hymnals that instruct us on how we might 
stay afloat even in the yawning gulf of drown 

when uttered in the wrong tone


You, the bodies who come to surround me,

I became the Body Electric
to learn no body wanted to
take the full charge of my self.
I took it personal:
It was my person,
my only skin
to long in.
Too long