Three Poems by Sheila E. Murphy



let's have a fight and not

let's have a fight and not
call it a fight let's 
call it a discussion
let's restrain ourselves
so what we say remains
unsaid let's exchange
what we have said we value
and pretend that
none of it exists
let's also pretend
we can survive as each
not both let us
reframe what we've declared
as something other than
and offer to recline
decline incline lose spine
as if were were one thing
let's fail once
and for all to be one thing
let us insist upon
our thoughts let's never
talk let us think privately
of how the world is
for the world is
this completely non-bombastic
place let's say
we live here both or each
let us continue
blocking off the senses
from our minds let us invent
new minds immune to other minds
and think recall refresh
resynch resist refine
recline rescind

your tidiness is extrasensory
your image, an amalgam of platonic sketch
your heartbeat shatters nine-tenths of my privacy
your accomplishments all in color even out the spectrum
your indifference amounts to fluid sentiment
your parts of speech conform to a specific dwarf peach tree
your ubiquity infers the everlastingness of mathematics
your columnar appearance speaks to substance
your woodwind instruments afford white space
your instincts all possess a lifetime of finesse
your health wears every shawl still in your home
your mantra is a blueblood microphone
your nautical accountability allows the pond to remain round
your singing voice is sterling in a white row
your intellect appears contagious
your leaning to monastic shelter braves me
your violets tilt in the direction of new prescience
your intergalactic downtime thrust into the figurative sea
your infinity is my patch of morning glories very plurally endowed

a curfew called a cataract

it's blue. you do not dream
what angles reify, they ply
from carte blanche an identity,
as one dismembers viaducts
from flow through. art equals
shield. delinquency from 
re(s)po(n)se sifts dark from light

buildings are all numb in brown.
around the grace notes lie 
host hills. remember: 
dumb resistance mimics stone,
tribunals full of fuss 
almost disclose their lack 
of inner fire. yet one aspires
to join the ranks of the resemblances 
to power.  

on someone's shoulders, any joust
is not-for-profit, and below
the quasi-dance is not for 
stale observance. many playthings 
squeak and bounce. you know the drill:  

an ounce is worth caressive blooms of prayer. 
I'm on the case. you're on the case. something's 
about to blister, and it's not your skin. it's not 
my skin. it's the rosacea of 
distilled new captains of restraint, 
who store their feelings in 
quaint glottal stops.