Two Poems by H. Melt

by Leslie Anne Mcilroy


for Pa Howie

I’m on the train
wearing a pink shirt
and floral tie

on the way to celebrate
my grandfather’s liberation
from dachau

when the nazis
came for his family
in kovno, lithuania

my grandfather
dressed like a girl
to stay close to his
mother and sisters  

when he immigrated
to the united states
he changed his name
from michelson to melton

I’ve changed my name
and my clothes too
on my way to



Man’s Country is closing
The Bijou already shut
where will gay men go
for anonymous sex
in Chicago

i go to Full Kit Gear
my trans flag and pronoun
buttons proudly displayed

when they grab the nipple clamps
from behind the counter it’s she
when i leave it’s thanks guys
even though i’m alone

i could’ve gone
to the feminist sex shop
where the owner has pink hair
and a trans kid but their products
aren’t as cute

i feel home
at both places
home meaning


Photo of H. Melt by  Janie Stamm

Photo of H. Melt by Janie Stamm

H. Melt is a poet and artist whose work proudly documents Chicago’s queer and trans communities. Their writing has appeared many places including Lambda Literary, The Offing, and Them, the first trans literary journal in the United States. They are the author of The Plural, The Blurring (Red Beard Press 2015) and editor of Subject to Change: Trans Poetry & Conversation (Sibling Rivalry Press 2017). H. Melt co-leads Queeriosity at Young Chicago Authors and works at Women & Children First, Chicago's feminist bookstore.