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Miguel Murphy


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.jpg

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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