Melissa Eleftherion

Invasive Species

Suspicion of a hunger queen
Arranged as a glittering bore 

The these the sea she;
In tomb language

Wretched her seawall whispered

Sea the hand she with
Gleam standing.

To be her;

All you who laughed

The quick dark who up sea vivid she slaps

Ancient triumph at last

(Erasure poem. Source Text: Rice, Anne. “Alexandria”. Ramses the Damned: The Passion of Cleopatra, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2017.)

Twenty-Ninth Suture

How about we

call in sick today





eye contact


kick and scream in the pleasure domes of 


(Remixed poem.  Source text: McGuire, Seanan. Indexing, pg. 248. 47North, 2013)


i am misleading
indistinct, variable
brown to pink to clear
lustrous, vitreous to the dullest
little brittle fracture
mostly transparent
then opaque

i’m colorless in that 
i’m a spectrum
“i contain multitudes”
by turns white i’m gray
i’m a yellowish green
comprised by all
these valuable radiances

I’m my own supergroup
So various I shine - a series of related minerals
The Greeks call me deceptive 
But I decode their pyramidal system 
i diaphanate like RoyGBiv
Moody af

I’m all hardness - sometimes they say dull
My colloform habit 
No visible crystalline affinities

Comprised of calcium phosphorous hydrogen chlorine oxygen fluorine
I’m “what a girl wants what a girl needs” 
Sharp-tongued and limber enough to keep em forever on their toes
A conchoidal fracture developed in the breath of witness

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Melissa Eleftherion is a writer, librarian, and a visual artist. She is the author of field guide to autobiography (The Operating System, 2018), & six chapbooks: huminsect (dancing girl press, 2013), prism maps (Dusie, 2014), Pigtail Duty (dancing girl press, 2015), the leaves the leaves (poems-for-all, 2017), green glass asterisms (poems-for-all, 2017), and little ditch (above/ground press, 2018). Founder of the Poetry Center Chapbook Exchange for San Francisco State University, Melissa now lives in Mendocino County where she manages the Ukiah Library, teaches creative writing, and curates the LOBA Reading Series. Recent work is available at