Two Poems

Wyatt McMurry







In small bars by the sea where the just-clocked-out

down entire pints before firing them off in blasts,

and under overpasses where late night revelers

linger releasing them like dirigible lilies into rain,

and on the corner, at the store, in the strip mall

emails are flicking off like fleas from a floppy

dog except the dog is the entire earth and the fleas

are angels. I know the taste, yes, of emails escaping

from bubbles in ice cubes cracking open as bourbon

rushes over, and the smell, yes, of emails hanging

in the air after street sweepers gobble up the confetti

from gutters at dawn. I’ve stood in line at port-o-potties

after a chili-dog and bear claw composing emails

on my phone, thinking, I need this job, I need this job,

please let them get back to me. Ah, times like that,

when the moon hangs on a subject line that won’t

appear, you can almost hear the servers humming

in San Francisco, the windows opening in New York,

and in Los Angeles the jacaranda petals tumbling

down the shoulders of managers who smoke cigs

and hit reply. That’s why I know the email in the sky

keeps on sending. For clawing fast as wifi laps

the air, the word made wave can find you anywhere.

Wherever I am. Whenever I want. So here it is panting

on your screen, my heart fileted in its needly teeth.










I want to know what spirit animal

lurks beneath my fingers when I glide

them over the smartphone screen

to check the feed.

Raccoon or cat?

Elk or eel? And when at night

it quivers on to wake me up is it

my skin it wants to feel? Or the touch

of a higher machine?

I used to dream

of rivers, moneygreen, rigged to run

backward. And on a tourist boat I stood

among the skyscrapers. What did I know

about being a friend? What did I know

about privacy?

I took pictures

of everyone I knew and dumped them

through the surface

of the screen.

Their bodies are floating up.

Their faces are pressed against the glass.







WYATT MCMURRY holds an MFA in poetry from the University of Alabama. His work has appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, Bird’s Thumb, Moon City Review, and elsewhere. He’s currently working as an English language teacher at the National Institute of Applied Sciences in Lyon, France.