from Dream Machine
by Sade Murphy

8. Mama, did I ram you like a calf anxious to flow the milk? Was I too hungry for you? Could you smell the matricide on my baby breath? Oh but I love you like a trash bin in the wind spewing rancid garage meat mothballs and gin soaked panties. In a room with acetone stripped cerulean felt for carpet I strangle you but you won’t die. You’re the queen of the penis pendulum. You’re a pseudoxenophile with your porcupine prison warden and your nylon merkin. If only I was brave enough to slice open your lymphoma to vomit inside your jackolantern shitgrin to push you through my womb and make you mine. I’d have you drawn and Qatared, diasporate all the pieces of you that too closely resembled mine. Don’t you want the best for me? Let me watch you die.

369. I’m going to learn to kill you. With my hands. I’ll take an ornate blade or a weighted knife. I’ll penetrate your throat thrust quick pull spurt slow gushy mudblood goo. Coo my little dove, my pigeonbear. I’ll glove you sanguine over my knuckles for heat. Oh you’re a treat turkey. Flipped chicken feet lynched and swinging god. I’ll pluck you fingerlicking gay. I’ll nake you down to the goosepimples. I’ll scalpel you. I’ll finger your lily liver and giblet bone. Play your ribcage like a tin drum xylophone.

52. Kisses cost more than a quarter. Heaven is full of smoke and mirrors. A town shaped like an overgrown pucelage. A fiend on every corner. A diorama of Hard Times. Burnt turducken and marshmallow stew. The stank gets caught in the back of my throat with my screams. I’m falling, don’t. Let me have my say in this sandbox stomach lining furtive enough for lemon seeds. The porn stars were children who grew up nostalgic for snowflakes on the tongue. Call that LA says the man with the machete.

11. In the afterglow I dreamed calamity. Never again the pillow princess, never again the prude. Spiders, fires, Tupperware, oh my! To have lit that man on fire. He was a husband, a father. His ghost hounded me through mountains of polycarbonate and latex projecting flashbacks of his pregnant bride. In grocery aisles baby blob arachnids bowling glass Coca Cola bottles. I was high on obituates. I had deja vu. I had multiple strokes chained to an Elmo wallet peaking out of her white trash denim pocket. It doesn't matter whether you're celebrating General E Lee or MLK. 

311. I put my babies in a feather crib. Mama! Mama! They timpani, they trill, they gargoyle. When will the dog kill the Indian? Only if malefic visions of the past erupt and people jump from concave mulch bridges. Gather round my pussywillows, I’m going to tickle you. I want to watch you vomit laughter until your corneas burst and fizzle. Shut up. Now the sound of your existence is like a fork dragging along aluminum. I could have aborted you when I had the chance.

997. The herd of pigs and civil war general chased me into the concentration camp. I hate modern art. I found the camps immoral hills of dead eyes. The refusal to dignify them with a burial is to piss in the face of crucified Christ. What if their names were written in elephant dung across the Atacama? What if I rubbed your face in it? What if I fondled your eleven-year-old breasts at the kitchen sink? What if I broke into your home and raped you while wearing a ski mask? What would it take to make you denounce what you worship? Your shiny electronics, your affected personality, the music and art you pretend to understand. I’m not Madonna and I’m not the Madonna. Let me take you to your beach house on Lake Michigan. Make you watch as I burn it to the ground. While I force feed you sand and pelt you with white pine needles. Let me take you to your favorite store and refuse to buy you anything. I just want to hear you say it. Baby, you know I love you.

101. The Fall of the animals began with the birds. They’ve always been proud. Both crocodiles and birds have beautiful scales, but birds are the only ones showing off. A quick fox and a blue chick elope. My boot flap bruise is sweeting. My eyes sweat saline and I bleed tangerine. Amish glitter bombed. My hands pruned in the sun like blowjobs on pagan Christmas. A disturbing old seadog gnaws on an alarm clock. Higher education won’t equalize us. My heart is the Queen Elizabeth.


Sade Murphy is a recent graduate from the University of Notre Dame. She is the sum total of poems, handmade books, painted silk, rescued bits of paper and dreams.