Brandon Melendez

My chest, a jar

of honey knifed

open—I know sweet

is only sweet

if you sacrifice

your ugliest parts.

I’d forfeit my name

for silence. Suture 

my ears to stop

the angry hum

of wings inside me.

Hand me a blade, bees-

wax & I’ll show you

what I’m made of.

Did you know anyone

can be a graveyard

if you dig deep enough?

Did you know at the edge

of every scalpel

there is a prayer? Imagine

this simple vivisection:

I make an incision

from chin to collar

bone. I drop

a small white pearl

down my throat

& like a song

a hive of writhing bees

spills out.


Brandon Melendez  is a Mexican-American poet from California and the author of home/land (Write Bloody 2019). He is a National Poetry Slam finalist and two-time Berkeley Grand Slam Champion. A recipient of the the 2018 Djanikian Scholarship from the Adroit Journal, his poems are in or forthcoming in Black Warrior Review, Ninth Letter, Muzzle Magazine, the minnesota review, Sixth Finch, and elsewhere. He currently lives in Boston and is an MFA candidate at Emerson College.