A Threnody in Three Parts, Ending in a Stained Glass Cathedral


This past summer

after you made a different life

in Berkeley

I visited the old room

we made a home—

the way a ghost might visit

its shadow

& the room is

now repainted the color of

rust &

rotting enamel &

a boneyard of bricks

the view

out your window—


like the map I drew

my fingers across

& discovered

nothing. I wonder if

the dust

here is still

made of us,

a memory

& we still exist

somehow—& not

as a field of knives

buried & not

given a name, perhaps


something that cuts off

calluses from

our dead

bolted palms—

& fills our lungs with




Brandon Melendez is a biracial poet born in New York and raised in California. He is a National Poetry Slam finalist, Rustbelt Poetry Slam finalist, two time Berkeley Grand Slam Champion, and he has won “Best Poem” & “Funniest Poem” at collegiate national poetry competitions. He received a B.A. in English from UC Berkeley and is currently an MFA candidate at Emerson College.