two poems

[Carmen is the name of a small house]

for Abby Chabitnoy

Carmen is the name of a small house on an island in the Aegean Sea
nobody lives there

one late May I found myself inside

a dog with the eyes of a dead man

the world is not permanent, is ever-changing and full of human

so what kind of animal are you

I’m a hare, I’m a bear, I’m a pig
if I were not afraid, I’d be a bee

I’d carry rocks in my pockets and bring them to Carmen

I’d not confuse the sound of the wind with what I dream

I’d see through the eyes of the dog
scales of blue reserved for the sea


[the sun will eventually increase in luminosity]

the sun will eventually increase in luminosity
and evolve into a red giant
the last of animal life will be driven towards the poles
and possibly

until then,
a café in Berlin
a bar in Nairobi
a street corner in Manhattan
a bus stop in Concepción
a church in Money, Mississippi

our mouths are getting smaller and more bullet-shaped
we continue to depend on our friends (a million windows)
we walk in darkness, pools of light gather where they will
come morning, we wake up already in uniform
we use our hands to bang on pots and pans to ward off evil
we are a little bit guilty without really knowing why
the sun feels good on us



Melissa Hohl is a poet living in Brooklyn. She received her MFA from Colorado State University and is currently pursuing certification in school librarianship from Queens College. Her work appears in ZYZZYVA, Bone Bouquet, and Transfer Magazine.


Back to Issue: Winter 2020