Psalm II

Poetry
Sean Patrick Murphy


Imagining
I awoke
to a shock of sunrise
to watch the sun
heal the long broad wound of night

I speak to you, and you alone
in the wilderness
with the compass of my
affection
always pointing North

I deride the smallish pleasure
in being lost,
secretly feeling the rush
of blood
a torrent of plasma and platelets
rushing to my brains
lost at last

You and I
believing for a moment
that we are shadows,
blackened by the cinders
of being
are a wishful breath
on a dandelion

Submerge, submerge, submerge
into what can only
be
the nighttime
of our devotion

Past the mantle,
past the crust
nickel and iron
everywhere
in our descent

Invisible your words
are to me, your
brave laughter and
holding the power
of innumerable smiles,
of immeasurable
kindness

Walk with me again
in the wide open
plazas, past
the garden where
they grow jasmine,
thyme, and
saffron

Unmake the
angel’s creation,
a lump of clay
begging for a raise
stewing over ill-treatment
worried about the
smallest of things
shatter the dolor
of day to day
and pass a finger
in ceremony, over
my body
corpulent and grateful
remade

Where shall I wander?
Into whose hearts
shall I walk and
then sit for a while?

Will the torrent,
the deluge, the river
of questions ever cease?
Can’t somebody else seek
the answers for a bit?

“You were born to hunt
your mind,” my asshole
deity reminds me

Back to the doldrums
let me print the
word “ennui” and
practice dart throwing
at the page on the wall

Frenetic is the pace now
I won’t live very long
turn up the flame
and burn, and sear, and
warm and glow
get to writing and just go

Demolish your raw perception of me
I am what you think
you define me
in a silly conversation
I await your
words to conjure
up my looks, my
response, your
syllables measure
the meter of my pulse

I am a slave to
everyman

But what shall I be
two years or two
seconds from now?

Lift the anthem
from my lungs
to soar above
the crowd in the stadium
full and strong
vibrant and
unreconstructed

A love song
to myself–a golden
poem-thing
unfettered to
fly
over the wall
like a home run

I sing in the
shower, not so
much as to capture
the song
but more to
liberate my voice

After a Sunday rain
I see the shafts of
sunlight beam through
bruised clouds
the furnace of Heaven
betraying its
azure companion

The chimes in the church
speak to a deaf audience
we kneel
we try to pray
we hate long gospels
and begin to wallow
in selfish brooding
about the Lord our God

Should the world
be inhabited by such
malcontents?

In the living space
we render for ourselves and others
I will sing a small song
to all that there is
and hope it is enough.

pencil

Sean Patrick Murphy is a 1988 graduate of Bennington College. He is a consulting editor at Current History magazine, and the assistant online editor for the Foreign Policy Association. He has had two poems published by Concrete Wolf. He can be reached at lojano[at]attbi.com.

You

Poetry
Sean Patrick Murphy


You
inhale the night
all stars
and celestial ether

You
exhale
the stellar remains
and rearrange
every fixture
in the firmament

You are
exist
as skin
on skin
and redeem my flesh
with a whisper

You dig
inside me
to find
a carnal answer
a singular prophecy
in the entrails’ riddle

Beyond the smoke
of the city
the boredom
of the suburbs
the sad and quiet
country
you breathe

Lips together
Yours and mine
I feel you are my compass
always true

The fragrance
of your company
stays with me
in the long hours
we are apart

It is not possible
that you are the dream
for you live
vibrant and awake
during all my hours

You are the goddess
who allows my fingers
to swim along your flesh
unburdened by
clothes or time

In the sanctuary
of your mind
you grant amnesty
to my tortured soul

You shimmer
in sunlight
among the garden
of all there is

Speak to me
in the car
on the train
in the air
your words
surround me
like the rind
of a fruit

You are
everything
to be revealed
or concealed
and shape me
with gentle ministration

You
beneath me
above me
and by my side
know that
in any atmosphere
on any shore
or on an unforgiving
rock
you hold
my redemption
like a ribbon
tied around
your wrist

pencil

Sean Patrick Murphy is a 1988 graduate of Bennington College. He is a consulting editor at Current History magazine, and the assistant online editor for the Foreign Policy Association. He has had two poems published by Concrete Wolf. He can be reached at lojano[at]attbi.com.