“Just what the world needs, another world.” Franz Wright

Four of us in Fair Isle sweaters,

faces pointed at 45 degree angles

away from each other, room strewn

with wrapping paper shrapnel. If I

was seven then, do I really remember

our arguments? I wanted a puppy

so I got one, until it peed and was

sent away. I was skinny, blond, blue-

eyed, so everyone raved I would

be beautiful, but I didn’t know how!

That I needed some external, warm,

tenuous mound of cells to sink my pug

nose into? That hugging Mother was

not an option? That when I watched

my brother eat I never wanted food

again? That when Father asked me

why I hated him I said, “Life is

a long drive in a borrowed car.”


Patricia Colleen Murphy founded Superstition Review at Arizona State University, where she teaches creative writing and magazine production. Her book Hemming Flames (Utah State University Press, 2016) won the May Swenson Poetry Award. A chapter from her memoir in progress was published by New Orleans Review. Her writing has appeared in many literary journals, including The Iowa Review, Quarterly West, and American Poetry Review, and most recently in Black Warrior Review, North American Review, Smartish Pace, Burnside Review, Poetry Northwest, Third Coast, Hobart, decomP, Midway Journal, Armchair/Shotgun, and Natural Bridge.