Miguel Murphy

Starlight

Flame, what is it the limit of—
A winter sunset

 

the color of raw steak;
 

the Santa Monica Mountains
ringed now in that sadistic
 

erotic distance.
I went to the _____;

 

The _____ will take a week.
Waves in the dark abstract

 

seascape, a late Rothko.
A self-portrait of absence.

 

What will it mean, this swollen
node behind my ear... Starlight;

 

a dog tied to the lifeguard tower.
Abandoned, desperate, enraged,

 

like the argument of mania
against the infinite. This

 

might be my angel
bearing his teeth—

 

my uncertainty, barking against
the Western shore. A wash.

 

This coast—beating furiously.
What does it mean

 

to speak with absence like a winter
sky to itself,

the self to its dying
 

bewilderments. Human is this heated
breath rising, breath rising,

 

immoral air. You don’t know why
the constellations are cursing

 

distances. Into this same
Unanswering Night—

 

your last silhouette will blacken like a dog’s
music into a cult of Nothing...

Miguel Murphy is most recently the author of the collection of  poems DETAINEE. He lives in Southern California where he teaches at Santa Monica College.

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