Melissa Broder

Satisfy The Desolate

I call it sex
because I don’t know
how else to say
terrified of dying.
Silence ruins
everything. It says:
you will not get your wings this way
not the wings you want
and you want
more than anybody.
I have wanted
many unfair things.
What is most unfair
is that the Earth is still okay
with me being here
I think, and even
encourages it.
Hello ocean,
you have asked me
not to die, but I swim
in neon pools
that are happy
to kill me.

Ultimate Giver

I ask my father not to set fire to the house
and it snows on us. It snows ashes of all the cigarettes
he has ever smoked. My father was a renaissance man
and in that renaissance his cigarettes were lords.
Mouths were ladies. I lay out blankets
so my father will be more comfortable in the snow.
I lay the blankets beside a china set
that my dead husband and I got for our wedding.
My dead husband climbs in bed with my father,
shattering the plates but not the cups. Their sweat drips
through the blankets. In the morning I write the men a letter
and stick it in a cup filled with sweat. The letter says:
Dear darlings, Time is ugly no? I am a romance addict,
which is neither of your faults but the fault of time.
I am an everything addict, which may be one of your faults
but is mostly the fault of god who made me.
Do you want to have dinner? We can eat in a hallway
or in the cigarette bed. I have no fruits
but I have a horse. We can use his meat.
This is not the kind of love Jesus was talking about
but you are Pantheists and I am full of teeth.

Trying To Get With You After I’m Dead

We could be anywhere from two days to a year
after my death. I think we’re in a bedroom
but if we’re in a morgue can there be warm fingers?
God makes decisions based on light
you’ve never seen. It’s scary. Are you ok?
I am trying to make me sound
like living people speak.
Really I want to transition you
into a phantom who rules me.
As a human you might want
your carcass to come whole.
You can dominate me
fully by becoming
only your eyes.


Melissa Broder is the author of two collections of poems, most recently MEAT HEART (Publishing Genius, 2012). Poems appear or are forthcoming in Guernica, FENCE, The Missouri Review, Redivider, et al.