Brandon Melendez

POEMS

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excerpt from Field Notes on Desire


If scientists are to be believed, then touch has always been a lie.

Don’t look at me. Blame our molecules

for the ways we are caged to our electrical orbits.

Every rushed kiss & brushed cheek are a trick

of the imagination, our brains trying to understand the world

as closer than it is. The truth is a lonely electromagnetism.

The universe propelling away from itself into an unknown

absence. So when I lie in bed, alone or otherwise, I am not

in bed really, but levitating above the voltage

of my own body. I touch nothing. But I am expected to try

to find myself in the maw of another, so fine. Let’s say

I’m not alone. Let’s say I’ve invited someone

over because I love nothing if not the lie. The hope

that maybe this time my want will take a shape

other than wine poured down a bleach white sink.

Defiant spillage. Brief but unrelenting vacancy. Like anyone

I can mistake heat for intimacy. I can mistake intimacy

for not wanting to die alone. But if I’m being honest

it still feels like a lie.