The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®


Michelle Murphy



In the garden that wasn’t
a meal went cold
conversation stalled
tumble weeds blew and caught on the tablecloth’s hem.
Last night the dead wore raincoats filled their pockets
with whatever they could filch bottle caps, shot glasses,
rings from the river.
They gave me keys
that didn’t work on my lips.
It was Reno and they asked for a simple wedding
and then a divorce,
kissing a pillar of the courthouse
for better luck next time.




MICHELLE MURPHY lives in Reno, Nevada. She is the author of the chapbook, The Tongue in its Shelf (Standing Stones Press) and a full-length collection, Jackknife & Light, (Avec Books). 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 including Zen Monster, ZYZZYVA, Five Fingers Review, and Barzakh Magazine. A chapbook-length portfolio is forthcoming in VERSE as a finalist for the 2015 Tomaž Šalamun Prize.



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