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Melissa Lussier
June 2023

Melissa Lussier is a singer/songwriter/poetess who began writing and singing at the age of 4. Hailing from the rust belt city of Buffalo, NY, she dove into SoCal five years ago and has since been enjoying the sunshine, wild parrots, and eclectic art scene. Melissa is highly passionate about gender issues and social justice, and is currently hosting the Kindling Salon Circle Art Series at Hellada Gallery. When not performing, Melissa can be found shaking it on the dance floor, traveling, staging photo shoots of her cat, Mr Tweakers, or in her kitchen, where she loves creating culinary art.


The plane greets runway and the filament of your relocated heart sighs--

like a braille map of time, the skyline of a once-decaying rust belt city emerges

and you wonder what it will feel like this time

what the wind will weave into this particular shade of skin 


You venture into recesses to be greeted with familiar paintings--

the bars, filled with the same wandering patrons,

sea anemone tentacles draped around familiar potions

shoulders hunched as always, yet somehow, the anchors of these ships echo wider now


Cumulus clouds gather, tugging across the 

horizon as if they have been rehearsing this brilliant overture of sunset for you

because they know your new town is cloudless, 

because the new skies are naked blue canvases marred by inexhaustibly smug sunlight 


You sit on your father's porch

owl eyes perched on the edge of the word home,

on this lake, this lapis lazuli womb who has

stood watchful as you wailed to her, fucked to her, bled to her 

who now slows to see you slither and swerve in your serpent skin


Sometimes you dream that you are a ship drifting from a dock

and your father,

stands and waits for you,

his prosthetic leg turned wooden and crooked

and when you don't return, 

he slips into the water and becomes suspended there, 

awaiting your hand


You gingerly lie a blanket over your mother's sleeping body 

and kiss her rosewater cheek 

knowing that tomorrow, 

you fly to other shores, 

continue your seeking where your hips sway wider and louder

where the wild parrots and palm trees 

are still foreign enough to unzip your comfort,

to unhinge the stop signs you place in your own way. 


Some days, freedom feels like a lead suit that will drown everything you love.



Through the crackling call,

from a swinging hammock

nestled in South America's plump arms

your best friend says: 


is how a life slips by

you wake, 

and one day, 

a decade has faded


She says she, too, is beginning to feel time

etch the whispers of wrinkle architects

ripples undulating in the river of skin

I share that I have stopped counting the platinum hairs,

like tiny lightning rods setting up shop in my follicles,

slowly nudging out the honey brown color that once lived there.

as poets, this home of skin is one we are always 

spinning in our palms


She speaks of the neighbors,

wild scarlet guacamayas,

two crayon-hued companions who have 

tea parties in the treetops

and how, with raucous sqwuaks and entitlement,

alight on her mornings, 

She knows they won't stay long and 

watches them lift

higher than the town,  

higher than the weary hearts of 

those who dwell below treetops 


I visit for her mountaintop wedding

and again come face-to-face with the country that 

saved my life


the guacamayas screech their arrival,

unbridled chromatic sages,

punctuating the calm expanse of cerulean sky

wings draped in the colors of the Colombian flag 


The skies ring deeper and taller and the eyes of time feel less watchful here 

in this 16th century village of 

cobblestone and whitewashed stone


after the wedding 

the newlyweds are in Panama so

I dine alone and loneliness begins to dock

at my shores 

I wonder where solitude draws 

its edges, 

wonder about when and why it is 

a vessel receiving 


a cup held out in want 


Here in California, 

I snail my way around,

balancing a thirst for a 

home I have yet to taste

eyes wild with the humidity of longing

constantly quelling the inferno

that eats and feeds my melody


I am perched in LA now 

where skies are short and ready

but the wild parrots have found me even here

have called to me through the din of police helicopters

and I know I am 




I am learning to hold out the cup 

I am learning how to pour.

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