Poem 17 ± November 17, 2016

Miguel Murphy

Because the storms, white emissions, emissaries
of spring come spilling

winter too—
He looked

into my face
as if leaning into a mirror

he could not
drink. Please—

Your bone structure is superb.
Your heart is haute couture.

The plague has petals handsomer than yours.

As if pleasure had a counterfeit.

As if there were a way to protect yourself
against a vast night slicked inside another

human body. Heart, seed,
tearful silence,

thirst. His face darkening
the gulf in him,

like the truth—
the blood test.

Green moon, cupped shadow.
Skin, my bright cloak.

When he told me, he didn’t
know, what could he say—

That wet, ugly glean. His face,
shining like a thirst,

shining in the desert
of contemporary men, like me.
Younger, healthier and eager.


miguel-murphyMiguel Murphy is the author of Detainee and A Book Called Rats, winner of the Blue Lynx Prize for Poetry. He lives in Los Angeles where he teaches at Santa Monica College.