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

 

Blue Juice Sky

 

Stalled, wing-deep in road-kill, the vulture

stares towards our rushing, flicks away

just as our tires straddle another anonymous carcass.

The bird jerks skyward, his beak packed with flesh, bone.

At the trailhead our doors open, our cold air meets hot.

Temperatures converge and compete for all the dark

pockets of my body. We discuss what won’t fit

into my pack: cook stove, white fuel, tent and pads,

a bladder of wine. I am softer. We know my lungs will

cramp and fill, offering fluid like a pot of strained peas.

The sun is you: everywhere. In moments my skin is moist.

My eyes pound and film. Rock and dirt shimmer like light.

Three hours deep we startle a pack of coatimundi. As each

disappears over the ridge I remember my neighbor in and out

of sight on his roof, his a/c whining with some inefficacy,

his wife at the window, bare breast exposed, the baby clawing

like a soft red lizard. I can’t decide when to care for you. Or how.

 

  

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 daniellejhanson.com.
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