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Mish Murphy: Three Poems

Selected by Alexis Rhone Fancher, Poetry Editor

Fifteen

It was noon
and 110 degrees
when he picked me up

near scrub oak fields
sloping down
to Lake Parker’s swamps,

Nicholas, the Italian kid
at our high school
who played guitar in a band

and who’d gripped me
so tightly
last night while
we slow danced at a porch party
his breath
on my sweaty neck

as the record player
seduced me
with its dreamy, musky
sweet-talk:
Crimson and clover,
Over
and over……

Weeds snapped
under the Jeep’s wheels

as we rolled
into the amber-colored field

of dead grass

and he pulled me by the hand

onto the ground
kissing me

and I shivered
in delicious
terror.

*

Grade school reunion memory house dream

i hide in the closet
as it vibrates with Beatles tunes
& dirty dancing

& no music newer than the eighties

all kinds of toys, holiday decorations,

& bottles & sprays
have been shoved
into this gothic monster closet

outside of which Sister Mary Rose
in a withered suit
stands too close to the door,
repeating, who’s in charge?

& where’s the dessert?

balloon pops make me jumpy

& i do think
of visiting my one friend
who died:
i would like to be able to watch
her PowerPoint shrine
nestled near the lunch buffet

knock knock

it’s my other friend,
the friend i didn’t at first recognize
she slowly opens the door

her wrinkled face
almost as ruined as mine

come out, she says,
we’ll dance with the skeletons

*

Inflatable Doll

Pink foam
explodes
from my head.
I can no longer
polish the candlesticks
for Master.
Soon I’ll be recycled,
hey, ho.

We so-called
inflatable dolls
are robots,

born in high mountain farms
where scientists
keep improving us.

They add
lighter, sturdier backbones.
They fix
our voice playback.
They convoy
the dolls
to mansions and farms
all over this planet

so hard-working men
won’t need
human women
who might get the virus,
refuse to work
and laugh at their sex.

Freshly orphaned
teenage things,
left in a crate
delivered by UPS—
perfectly legal—

we operate on
double D batteries:
super cheap,
although it’s not cheap
to buy us in the first place,

but a real wife would be
much more expensive,
what with candy
and dating
and wedding rings.

We sleep on the floor
unless the man pretends we’re real,
which is not recommended,

and we don’t complain

because our brain has
a happiness chip—

we love
any blank space
into which
we are inserted.

Photo credit: Mish Murphy

Link to buy Evil Me chapbook by Mish

Cover of Evil Me, a chapbook by Mish, is salmon colored background and image of a woman's face underwater up to her eyes; the reflectionin the waterz makes it look like she has 4 eyes

Chapbook Evil Me by Mish

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