Hassan Melehy πŸ”ˆ


We didn’t even know what
it meant to waste time, and even when
the swimming hole was still too cold,
we couldn’t wait to shift
our pliant bodies' load onto it,
salving the burns of seventh grade scorn,

managing to find a sunny
moment, though gray skies
prompted us to spin gears and circuits
and finally I told you after too many
times to stop electrocuting toads –
you stopped, but also said

I was the only boy you knew
who’d care. The only way we knew
to raise ourselves up was on low tree
limbs, but once I’d climbed, you’d
pelt me with logs, in between
punches, your bony fists
hurting like hell, and one time you even
jabbed a knife into my leg, slicing
a nerve that time has never quite healed.

In the moments we stole from our
little hometown – Scotland, Connecticut –
we dreamt together against
the rage sprouting up from the soil in
springtime and curling around our ankles.

Author Reading

About the Author

Originally from southern New England, Hassan Melehy lived all over the United States before settling in North Carolina, where he teaches French and English. His poems have appeared in Prelude, Ink Sweat and Tears, The Hat, and BlazeVOX Journal, among other venues. His first collection, A Modest Apocalypse, was published by Eyewear in 2017. A child of immigrants, one from the Middle East and the other from western Europe, he sometimes writes about his experiences as a first-generation American. In addition to his creative writing he has written three books of literary criticism, including Kerouac: Language, Poetics, and Territory (Bloomsbury, 2016).