Pigeons nest in the front palms
song clocking the afternoon
their white rain storming.
Birds remind us who was first on this earth.
The universe dares us to touch anything.
Yesterday we walked your boyhood streets
overgrown with oaks, watched your father
filling just enough space to not be gone,
tossed rocks into the Severn river,
took the 10 a.m. flight back to Phoenix.
Today when I enter the car my earrings blaze,
burn my neck when I turn my head to back
out of my parking space. Some people
are longer for this world than others.
I want to hold them in my hands like a bird.
Patricia Colleen Murphy founded Superstition Review at Arizona State University, where she teaches creative writing and magazine production. She won the 2019 Press 53 Award for Poetry with her collection Bully Love, published as a Tom Lombardo Poetry Selection. Her collection Hemming Flames (Utah State University Press) won the 2016 May Swenson Poetry Award, judged by Stephen Dunn, and the 2017 Milt Kessler Poetry Award. A chapter from her memoir-in-progress was published as a chapbook by New Orleans Review. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona.