The Works of Melissa Guillet

Melissa's work has appeared in The Cherry Blossom Review, Lalitamba, Nth Position, Public Republic, Scrivener’s Pen, Women. Period., six Worcester, MA anthologies, and several chapbooks. She teaches Interdisciplinary Arts in Riverside, RI. 

All Poems © Melissa Guillet

Excavation is never organic.
There are roads to follow,
geometric grids.

My hand is a map
defined by dry dirt:
river beds follow creases,
exodus follows fingers.
My grasp on the past
is gained by the spoonful.
We all want to know
where we came from.

All this stone would only fit
if the large foundations
went in first.

But it is easier extracting
pebbles filling gaps
in our mouthed questions,
tiny enough to swallow.

We rope off the Pandora’s box,
the boxing match between
time and now.

We are of the earth,
molded from clay.
When we hit the ground,
we dust ourselves off.

Stale time capsules steal
our buried breaths.
We sift through the art of facts,
roll away the stone,
lift gauze to reveal,
to see our own bones.

Excavation is never organic
in the constant search
through stone.

The Wait for Wings

You were under me,
Asleep seventeen years,
I a cocoon in blanket and tent
But a single day.
Then you got the itch,
The seventeen year itch,
The cicada rhythm -

Time to wake up!
Time to claw out of the earth,
Out of sleep,
Crawl childlike up the tree
And wait on summer leaves -
Body soft and wet and raw
While you wait
For the wings
To emerge from inside.

Why I Garden

I garden to let my hands speak
new life and forgetfulness,
a temporary limbo.
Everyday the garden is different.
Every day the garden is new.

The wet earth dries
and crack open my palms,
showing me riverbeds
I will fill with weeping.

My thoughts are so graphic,
and words so brittle,
like grown out fingernails
cut with brutal necessity.

With fingernails I clean
my fingernails,
slough tiny worlds
of shed skin, hard work,
and earth-old soil.

A line of earth remains
where my hands touched God.
I try to take the line down
in a poem.

The thought is drowned
in agraphia as my hand traces
my own writing
again and again.

The garden is my only clarity -
mud and huddled bulbs
know their potential,
know why they’re here.

They are a comfort to me,
before I enter the earth
and forget everything.