the puberty of rocks

We were the soft faces
Dull & hardened a fissure
A conchoidal gravity

The skins oh the roses and browns and veins
We were in the flesh light so long we burned the specimens

Mouths among the grasses
The grace of childhood a hush
We were in the charade
We waved to the fluorescing

How the perfect cleavage distinguishes
Even in minerals
Rocks and their greasy fractures
How all this learning about breaking
is really a kind of longing
The smell his leaving left on the fire escape
We were little sticks


Melissa Eleftherion grew up in Brooklyn. A high school dropout, she went on to earn an MFA in Poetry from Mills College and an MLIS from San Jose State University. She is the author of huminsect, prism maps, Pigtail Duty, the leaves the leaves, green glass asterisms, and several other chapbooks. Her first full-length collection, field guide to autobiography, is due out from H_NGM_N​ Books in summer/fall 2017​. ​Recent work is forthcoming in Dusie, Glass, Italian-Americana Review, & Poet-Librarians in the Library of Babel. ​Founder of the Poetry Center Chapbook Exchange, Melissa lives in Mendocino County where she works as a Teen Librarian, teaches creative writing & curates the LOBA Reading Series at the Ukiah Library. More of her work can be found @