Thursday, April 14, 2016

Michelle Murphy / 2015 Tomaž Šalamun Prize finalist

Michelle Murphy

[2015 Tomaž Šalamun Prize finalist]


I know the guttural urge to walk the fog, confusing it for heaven & rummage for brothers that have stepped barefoot from memory’s curb.

Which brings us back to this fog & the believers who shake salt over their shoulders like crumbs.

An errand can take you anywhere, even into the woods, a bridge of mothers’ voices calling through a flash flood where a path is cleared to better hear the names.

We are all unsolved; bartering for faith with whatever is at hand, hoping it’s enough to keep us at the table.

He hides his head but doesn’t sleep. A parachute of air and smoke gathered in the hem of his mouth.

You know how maps recite their borders then take on a language of ledgers, average in the floods the oil spilt and spilt & all the grief on loan.

The facts of our lives are waged. We throw down for a shot of whiskey, burn our throats sweet. Who says we can only occupy one room at a time?
Pacific, we lay our debts on the table, the kisses and threads, the bad advice we gave so freely.

Love is quick like this. We forgive ourselves when the rent is due & pride’s just not able.

You’ve seen how fickle breath is, are versed in satellites’ ways, how they stretch the truth until it hurts.

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