Saturday mornings were for Marshalls. For holding tightly to Dad’s hand, and watching the Black women drag children who looked like me – all fuzzy edges and plastic barrettes and knotted curls.
K & I ball surrounded by trees / & the faint huff of lightning bolts.
On the day of her only birthday, she dips / a finger in the cake before she slips / it into my mouth.
Faucet spewing fear that runs constantly in the Back of your mind in Adulthood. You aren’t blind With rage at first. First you are blind with fear.
Fear that I will muddle my manners. Fear that I will matter little. Fear that I will dither like a biddie, bobble like a budgie.
Lost Tooth / dear Cut Hair / dear Wonder / dear Rain / dear Still Puddle / dear Mirror / dear Empty Hands / dear Body—
they get / shipped / somewhere / they can’t / upset the / elderly
WHEN I SAY I WANT TO LEARN YOUR MOTHER’S RECIPE, I MEAN
he doesn’t eat fish anyway, so it’s okay but i still have to stare at the eyeballs
something that took so long to put to bed / & now a quieting / like the invention of streetlights
close the door that lets infection in to heal on its own / time immune system rehearsing its answer to / affliction
because I’ve always been better at taking weight / than giving my own
spilling their brown limbs all over / as if to say thank you as if / to say thank you white man / you are justice you are godly
Our own kind of hot-as-hell, beautiful, brown home.
You remember the kiss hip moan you got but did not get, the wet strands between your tips your thrusting fingers their tender lips
There is the most powerful species named johnnycashi, and his hooks there to restrain our fangs during sex.
before the nightclub, you stand staring at yourself in the mirror drenched in dream-smoke, a fishbowl of lavender. you trace the length of your collarbone.
I’ve always been magic – sprinkling fairy dust and bewitching rings of Saturn to orbit my equator with the switch of my hips.
if you are hurting / if you are uncertain / know that this body can hold itself to itself and undo at the same time / it is your nohkom saying kisâkihitin with her hands / stitching beads to a leather purse you will one day hold /
new york is the fifth city i miss you in your baby toenail fell off this year as it does
I hate to love this city. Where the stop sign on Berry has “6” painted under “Stop” so you know what hood it is.
*Source text for this erasure: Jose, Randall T., Ed. Understanding Low Vision. American Foundation for the Blind, 1983, p. 52-3.
If God came to me, my face would / burn, if God touched me, he would / crucify holes out of handshakes.
Come lie down beside me and touch my warm belly my little darlin’ / Scratch me like you mean it you cowardly dog / Just kidding I am the dog in this scenario
I will flip a pillow, say TODAY IS GOOD then roll / over in my bed like an overcooked beet.
When this Pokémon sings, it never pauses to breathe. If it is in a battle against an opponent that does not easily fall asleep, Jigglypuff cannot breathe, endangering its life.
No one notices when I'm late to work. / I just forgot to eat.
Here I am in loss, as losing; active loss. It’s a singing bird, small yellow-green, who thru special powers of love breathes without taking breath.
I’m starting a new religion. We only worship things that are green.
from the she’s all that moment we didn’t have bc we were too busy jacking off to jake gyllenhaal getting bashed
i am so sad i bought glitter eye shadow
Our mother insists Jesus’ mother spanked him / when he misbehaved, and sinless he sobbed
in this poem Jesus laughs because he is very ticklish / in this poem he tells Gabriel / Quit it
God, so we will have to do / with what we get. Behind us
Why are there no stories? / Because there were none.
Perhaps when I drive off I will see a sky / with fullmoon-eyes, & I’ll know there is a God / & he been looking me up & down from all angles
I have always wanted to be a sculptor, holding possibility
sometimes I’m a disaster without knowing sometimes I’m looking at you my happiness completely in your hands love is pressure but it is also a few good consecutive calm moments
Doc the Ativan just give me the fucking Ativan or don’t
It’s the way you sit across from me / at the kitchen table / your hands enclosing a teacup
The call keeps dropping for the Arctic photographer on NPR, his voice fine and crisp and then suddenly drowned in a closet, choked by the devil
if the ape x stone cap is missing from the pyramid base it was strapped to a ship and shipped to the new world
The relationship was a sign that read Accident Free for __ days, that reset every morning to zero.
You pig-heart and I skin tapering off a drum face. You conjugate, animal-throated magician’s girl
And your greatest failure? / That they haven’t built a language from my name yet.
and I just scatter to his center like a little hair patch on his chest
but, when i was 19 i became more of a spill sometimes, i miss a mouth entirely.
His back in its sweater beads into sweat / but he likes the sweater — it reminds him / of his grandmother
[pdf-embedder url="https://secureservercdn.net/188.8.131.52/874.ac3.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Poetry-_-m_ryan-murphy-2.pdf" title="_Poetry _ m_ryan murphy (2)"] m/ryan murphy lives in Brooklyn, NY via Mississippi. Some of their work exists in or is forthcoming from Entropy, The
I find the boys break their legs chokehold them down / in the night keep them up I’m screaming YES YES YES.
into the B plot as into a hot tub, slip into my alternate time stream admit your acolytes
For example, my brother can’t write our last name in kanji but our obachan made me practice it for 20 minutes straight until it was beautiful enough to be written by an actual 日本人。.
the last time i loved, the words died in my belly. the sparks quit next, & then the boy.
The light says, I love these leaves. / The light says, you’ve been swindled. / The light says, let me dry off these rocks.
on trans street / there are bungalows / courtyard buildings / & rent control
next door and the tienda on the corner, who spoke / very little English, who didn’t mention his wife
I-coordinate-blue-and-pink-outfits-with, why don’t we / just nix the whole wedding idea, disappoint our parents, / and just go somewhere and eat wedding cakes?
I am in the mood to mourn / against the storm outside / I tear up under covers / turn on a warm light / Darling / I want your fingers
Mother and he had been on friendly terms since / before Boy could remember.
here is the story whereby / the black boy is carried unto a river / named by his people for a road into the sun
On the weekends during lunch, / a cigarette balanced on a grin, / BBQ marinade of RC cola, B96 blaring bass, / Tito Bong made the meat.
still telling the same story in the hospital / about how grandma was choking and choking on that pill / but she got it down with just a little bit of applesauce
Minsang estranghero / narito ako ngayon
Which is almost as long / as the Trojan war. The year / my father took her was all oil spills
iii. Tongue out of groove. Meaning, nacre nacre with no grain. No luster here.
what can I do / without disturbing anyone? / can I pray?
The gray-green membrane between spring and summer / is my event horizon
call them low art I send bangers only / my nudes are a Rothko Yellowbone no. 2 I am / pictured in pleasure a joy almost aggressive
Decades from now my first father-daughter dance unrehearsed & / wouldn’t you know it I’m already there though my legs are still catching
The birds chirp, the sun follows, this is how the morning arrives / And my cousin Chinelo knocks on my door, waiting for breakfast
i wish i could go into ambiguous romantic interactions with a sign around my neck that says I AM NOT YOUR MOTHER
three years ago nine black disciples were slain in bible song & since, no signs of goodness have breached the headlines
and i think i’d like a boy to build a country in. i’d like a boy with land
we ate gumbo last night & / sighed the sigh of the satisfied
Mother, you still hold my wrist when we cross the street.
Fat drops of rain. White spores on a shrinking fist. An infection borne down into the cells.
I snip the buds between their legs, / deflower my girls grown in rows because
I grabbed his hand and twisted its spokes through my thicket / and said I would peel his face back the way he peeled
i want to write about the blueberries i picked from the throat of a New England fall afternoon; how my hands plucked each branch like a familiar melody.
made out of thin copper wires originally from a moon planet averse to gravity aware of the pool of rainwater wet stones
into her, and I’m just trying not to get burnt, trying to keep myself whole. Will you try to shatter me?
[me, tense & admitting gunnah; him, heavy sob in a front seat]
now as in forever soul || luos reverof ni sa won
brother i was in a dream state/ Jesus was there/ & Gil Scott-Heron/ & the only sound/ the whirr of the ceiling fan/ brother/ the night we took
I was in calculus learning about tangents when I noticed, on the glossy
It has been five seasons since Rat King was made into Rat King. It took one season for them to learn to speak in unison
I am a gutted afterthought meaning my skin slips like any other
We find a note in the house from St. V’s, a summons to a meeting to discuss suspension
Little girl leaps Into the rhythm of the thing
“after church, purse filled with easter eggs & holy water the wife takes the uncle in, it’s just for a few weeks, until he gets back on his feet.”
“Your politics refers to an attempt to make/some part of yourself safe.”
“You mistook his peace for shyness mistook the blue for pools the eyes for danger because all the other eyes of all the other boys hid hostage narratives”
“I was nobody’s angel in the centerfold/too ballet scrawny to have any curves/too darkskinned to light up a room/too short to tower over my haters”
“because i had to, because/there is no room in the anglo o rthography /for an accented o, an ó/who is a mother with an umbilical cord/hanging out loose”
“I will die on Sunday afternoon in Saginaw/following a plate of my mother’s/enchiladas, fried chicken, and rice.”
“I’m never a teenager at all, if it can be arranged. I see the car coming and don’t make the left turn.”
“my children will begin to understand sometimes Dads are not your real Dads maybe their real Dad is still wandering no change of clothes no cash no comb”
“My body brown/as river. Silt all over/your fingers./I want to see you/lick yourself clean.”
“i can imagine you imagining me doing that with you like i was imagining in that moment / you never really know what the other person is thinking but i thought if we were off the clock i would try to find a way to kiss you”
“& what should I have grown up to be? She tried. Parted our hair to the side. Let two boys throw love at her one stuck she thought it was a miracle.”