2 Poems by Jason Melvin

A proper burial

you ended up on my bookshelf
tiny urn in an over-sized jewelry box
stuck in a library man cave
no bigger than a closet
between Lehane and Palahniuk
between mystery and satire
I don’t know where to place you
but I do know you weren’t much of a reader
My wife has seen too many Hollywood pratfalls
and fears you will end up in the Shop-vac
if displayed

there’s a chair in there
nothing fancy
one fifth of an unused kitchen set
I see you sitting in it
when I peek through the cracked door
and the moonlight from the lone window spills in
but not all of you
just where light would touch
most of you rests at home
with your wife and kids
some of you is with mom
I’m not sure where they put you
I doubt it was a bookshelf

Where the grass grows higher

the grass grows
wraps around my legs
squeezes my hips
slashes across my chest
scarfs around my neck
restricts airflow
covers my eyes, ears, nose
enters my mouth
like floss between my teeth
my tongue fights, loses
mounds of dirt form
cover my feet
sprout out of my armpits
parents tell their children to stay away
something could be living in there
thorns replace my fingernails
earthworms and grubs tickle my toes
parents tell their children to stay away
There might be something living in there

There isn’t

Jason Melvin is a father, husband, grandfather, high school soccer coach, and metals processing center supervisor, who lives just north of Pittsburgh. Most of his poems come to him while riding his lawnmower around the yard. His work has recently appeared in Rat’s Ass Review, Kitchen Sink Magazine, The Electric Rail, The Front Porch Review, Shambles, Spillover, Olney, Last Leaves, and Zero Readers, among others.