On Subconscious Relapse/Burning Myself on Work Ovens

A wax seal singes the center of my left wrist,
blazing unmistakably there like one
sunlight wasp, searing
and terrible. i think of termites
on fever skin, the lone shark
waiting for gills and every other metaphor
i’ve made to fit this aching for an ache.

Somehow the cuts always find their way in, i swear without meaning to.
These are covert scrapes i catch on anything, singed and wounded and bramble.
My bedsheets must have teeth, it is the only explanation for the gone
hollows on my knuckles.

The newest burns are smaller. One grazes
just left of my bellybutton. Another is a charred almond,
exactly where a watch is meant to sit.

At night i prod at the places where flesh wilts,
gives way to something tender.
i wish i was looking for god.

Melanie Greenberg was raised in the Pacific Northwest and moved to New York, where she is currently studying creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College. In her poetry, she likes to explore the different facets of being alone or unseen, the comfort it brings as well as the confinement. She also writes about the relationship between the self and the body. Melanie’s work has appeared in Nixes Mate Review and The Sarah Lawrence Review.

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