Melissa Eleftherion


Our Earth’s crust         our very foundation
tells a story
injustice and the conquered
All bond to the silicate daddy

as a kid i lay on the burnt Brooklyn sidewalk
looking for beauty in the asphalt

the little buds that grow from the cracks
the many shoots of marble and gutter
all minerals rising to the surface
fighting to be seen beneath
the bubblegum tar
each sidewalk square erupting
with an ecosystem

how breathing happens watching
crystals form
how the posturing continues
deep within the molt and rock and plunder

the dominion of gutter politics how we still
root for the wounded for a wash of new memory
so the crystals will rise         pure as salt

0-41MELISSA ELEFTHERION is a writer, a librarian, and a visual artist. She is the author of field guide to autobiography (The Operating System, 2018), & nine chapbooks, including the forthcoming trauma suture (above/ground press, 2020). Born & raised in Brooklyn, Melissa now lives in Northern California where she manages the Ukiah Library, teaches creative writing, & curates the LOBA Reading Series.

Author’s note: “‘Asphalt’ offers the false protection of a hot Brooklyn sidewalk in summer while revealing fractures in the foundation.”

Other works
postcard poem
wilderness voice

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