Andromeda by Melanie Power

Poem title: Andromeda

Poet name: Melanie Power

Poem: By the memory of freedom, along streets

and avenues, we are taunted. Nothing sweet is

in season yet, but mouths ache, hungry. Reveries

of strawberries, soft & wet, pooling in stained

cartons. What is relief? That we could touch the way

a rainstorm fails to drench July afternoon heat.

All winter, alone, I roamed forsaken sidewalks.

Frost misted window corners. Hydrangeas shivered

beneath snow. Loneliness hardened the world, dyeing

fingertips blue. A kiss was like Andromeda—such a bright,

faraway thing. But the amaryllis in my throat did not die;

its bulb went dormant. What is longing? That I cannot picture

the distance between two bodies ever closing. Many nights

of my life I worshipped stars, splayed into grass, forgetting

where the ground was. What is love? That I circled,

again and again, back to the altar of myself. Your name is

a hundred green buds waking the maple trees. April rays

are a fever in me, skin crimsoning. Courage is dreaming

your fingers in every place the sun cannot reach.

End of poem.

Credits and bio: Copyright © Melanie Power

Previously published in Full Moon of Afraid and Craving McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2022.

Melanie Power is the Montreal-based author of Full Moon of Afraid and Craving (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2022).