The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Bully Love by Patricia Colleen Murphy




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.



This selection comes from Patricia Colleen Murphy’s Collection of Poetry, Bully Love, available from Press 53.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Danielle Hanson.

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.

Danielle Hanson is the author of Fraying Edge of Sky (Codhill Press Poetry Prize, 2018) and Ambushing Water (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2017).  Her work has appeared in over 70 journals, won the Vi Gale Award from Hubbub, was Finalist for 2018 Georgia Author of the Year Award and was nominated for several Pushcarts and Best of the Nets.  She is Poetry Editor for Doubleback Books, and is on the staff of the Atlanta Review. Her poetry has been the basis for visual art included in the exhibit EVERLASTING BLOOM at the Hambidge Center Art Gallery, and Haunting the Wrong House, a puppet show at the Center for Puppetry Arts. More about her at

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