A Phoenix park ranger discovered a petroglyph
had been excised. She followed the trail rut
to the McMansion of a man who answered
his door dressed in a towel, the stolen rock
well-lit above his mantel. And what is there
to say? I’m certain there are topics about which
I know nothing. I moved from Ohio to this desert
with two suitcases and a poorly laid plan. The first
week I was here I called the landlord to complain
about dust and he explained monsoons to me.
I’m still bitching my way through triple digits.
If you could go anywhere, where would you go?
You and I can, now that all four of our parents died.
I thought I’d move to France, maybe lose too much
weight. But I fell in love with you and here we are.
So now what? Will we go to the Costco, maybe Home
Depot? I don’t know. I don’t know if we’ll have time.
Should we go to the park, help ourselves to free wall art?
Since living here already feels like stealing?
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.
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