Erika Murphy

Nebula Overturned

I. Needles turn to sons, their harsh faces capture the caboose's last light. Other nests gather to test the solidity of hollow straws: will the eggs hold or dissect? A bent shaft holds a drop away from pincers that expect a meal. Our windows gasp for air and suddenly we open. Pollution on the tops of colors I've never heard of-glaciers will grow differently this year. I'm not talking about practiced cardboard; this is more like a yellow bead that crumbles in front of a hidden grouse. Seaweed that folds straight through the iris and into breadboxes. II. We eat in front of the cave. A din celebrates our movement each sandwich up and down. Pandora in tupperware. Quail ghosts lead us up trails, point out hollow straws that dissected them before hatching. We aren't sad because they read to us: books with nervous spines that angle to drink more than to bend. We push them open and pin them to dryness, allowing injury to engorge our organs. Still, we sleep. I dream of aging icebergs called father who toss spears into our nesting buckets. If only I had brought a bag, the moon would be full of us and the night in our organs. Ice orbits and bows, extends and contracts small muscles of wind. Now we wake and I'm missing the pool that packed up in the night, called by another pair of hands. There is a little blood I think but not enough, my pale foot still makes no imprint. Engorged, sand delivers itself as the last caboose. But you don't have to see it that way.

Organic Interruption

There are 10,000 grains of sand for every star galaxy and if you count every moon for each grain of sand and every coke bottle cracked by a horseshoe crab there's your picture on it. But that's not all. Acid is not a test. If I could be anything I'd lay down in acid and be a test. (Not) an organic interruption. I've upset you. You won't break your habit. You were schizophrenic in your last life, now you're a pickler and the moon has no place in you. If I could speak twilight we would evacuate before lilies rise out of the spine with paddles. Before paddles speak twilight, acid bubbles create an emergency. We are not miners, though we eat our lunches on dry lava we are not miners and the sign says no sign of collapse. I keep yellow as a locket picture, family swept aside for the yellow issue of manholes. The handle and the fever advance. Handle and fever, I see them. Handle and fever movement (she watches from firetruck lamplights) Dog bone found in old cellars, old coffeehouses restored and renovated into old coffeehouses. We serve liquids / solids; we serve we serve and expect cash. Each stain has meaning, we possess history from at least four years ago I can take you back at least four years ago with pictures, fires, salt-before this it was a coffeehouse it was that coffeehouse and a ghost of, you see. Fires don't. This coin dated before that coin, who held it we'll never know but we think they drank coffee. We think wood was absent, handle and fever were solid and kept from manholes. Museum pieces lie against butterfly costumes outdone by yellow backdrops. Museums lie in turkey dust obeying history by collapsing and losing museum pieces. Pieces of turkey feather heaping spoonfuls are said to cure. I read it and someone said it. I've heard that after getting better he loved the mud and small grains of sand. OCR noises too. Bloodstains everywhere. A blunt cereal box as dangerous as and suffocated by. Angels. But that was only after a roach ate through the oxygen tube. We prayed, but quickly ran out of breath.

Salt Through the Tube

Who would've ever thought it would happen like a fictional bee, felt legs pinned and feelers like scissors, tearing so close to the antenna? I believe nothing happened that night or the night before because dogs were barking and no one knew anything but to pack their 5 o'clock lunches and leave them by the door. Meanwhile my drunk picture fell off the wall again (it has a habit and access to knives.) I reported that the trapeze act was stiff that morning, the net lost its balance. Bright yellow spoke. A knock at the door would have been unusual, but I took off my coat. There was a ring and I turned on the radio. A cold slide down my front steps as the mailman read my letters. Nothing but ads, he confessed before he cheerfully broke his leg. I smiled and got out the ice cream to cover up the peep hole. The beams were sagging that day; I was afraid for my life but what could I do not being an architect? Salmon folded behind me as I sat against the wall, the book golden in my hand. The phone rang, but I never answered it. It was a new call, properly charged with electricity. The lake call. The kind you wished sat at the bottom of a lake and became moldy before you finished your beefsteak and soup (mine- strone.) That was how it happened, the salmon fresh out of water.

String and Sponge

Stop dying-I'm not balancing my feather on the wall for incongruent night-noises, for chirping that lays low under the bed. It's not only your phone noises that pull thread back into the eye, but the careless waste of skin that seems to pull the sail. If I've torn the hole, you have the halloween knife. The sun doesn't place this velvet noose behind us: light refracts through marble, finding your doubled eye. (The double-tossed maze wallows without string, the hedges hold it together. Whisper, the row grows longer. Hand touches yellow. A bowl forms new territories following footprint. What we find here, let us keep it to ourselves.) A warning after the latch has rotted: you crush live wood in your hands and hold on to grubs for safekeeping. That shovel laced with makeup, abused to look like beauty among bent cards. We all have these tools, but orange was lent to you, in water, the desk floating. There were arms everywhere, dusks melting into ponies. I am a dream, a cake decorated without flowers tied to its own fork. Candles: these I lent you. Give them back, whole, in April.

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