In fact, we barely knew your slim thicket
of zip codes could be so easily shrugged
from memory, there wasn’t even a backseat side-eye.
We don’t belong to this hatched argument
shush baby, Furies sometimes
like to engine up old curses, barb into
every word until they shut up altogether.

September is lodged in my throat
though I’m still not sure why a bunch
of cardboard boxes should leave me
dry-mouthed, craving something cold to sip.
Begin with Iowa, its road leads away
next to a track with no train near a wave of faded cornstalks
bugs smack the windshield phing phing phong
Crows jangle figure eights above the car
until they grow bored
then it’s just us moving from
and to landing anywhere.


Photo by Kimmy Williams on Unsplash

Michelle Murphy

Michelle Murphy is the author of Jackknife & Light, (Avec Books) the more recent Synonym for Home (Wet Cement Press). Jackknife & Light was shortlisted for the National Poetry Series as well as the PEN West Literary Award. Poems have appeared in numerous online and in print publications. A chapbook (portfolio) in the journal VERSE was published as a finalist for the 2015 Tomaž Šalamun Prize.