Mela Blust (Western Voices 2022)

Bio: Since seeking publication just a few years ago, Mela's work has been nominated for multiple awards and has appeared or is forthcoming in dozens of literary journals and magazines. Her debut poetry collection, Skeleton Parade, is available with Apep Publications and her second collection, They Found a Woman’s Body, is available with Vegetarian Alcoholic Press. She is a contributing editor for Barren Magazine, and can be followed at





there is so much ache

in the wild river of my skin

where you

never learned to swim,

my pearl – undisturbed

in the depths.


we traverse the rocky paths

around this tempting abyss

like children; wild with abandon,

and with no sense of peril

until we’re already

falling in.


how f**king beautiful

is danger?

cliff’s edges whispering

seductive lullabies

about what we might find



and we, never really being

quite as certain

about being alive

until we’re painfully aware

that we could so easily

lose it all.



there were birds crying overhead today

and i suddenly remembered

under all the quilted white

life lies dormant.

ready to unfurl like a pair of limbs

aching to run.


and i run my tongue along the familiar sore

like i’m the weight of a stone

that someone lifted just to say

that they could.

i am the weight

of wanting.


i draw my sword and i know my wound,

always leaking obvious hunger like little crumbs.

and sitting in my mess of sharpness, refusing to eat.

but i know i’ll cave – it’s hard to be hungry.

and even harder to choose

to stay that way.


i have been like you,


caught in the whirlwind

of my own heavy heart,

wishing to come up

for air.


tonight, a barred owl

jars the silence of two am,

asking a question we both know

has no answer.


you, too, spilled “why?”

into a hollow void

that spat it right back

at you.


i want to tell you that one day

your heart will fit in your chest again

and all that you pour

will be poured into you.


outside, the wind shakes the branches,

and the whisper of wings tells me

the one with questions on his lips

has stopped asking, and gone away.


tomorrow, i find blood in the place

under the branches –

something is always sacrificed

for the way a night-heart wanders.  

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