Lisa McMurtray

What Would Please Us

A doe leaping in and out of her body.
Fields like a dark throat.

We like how we don’t exist before we do,
like animals, and this is important to remember.

A man unfolds beneath the sea and islands bloom
in his veins. The horizon delineates itself.

Maybe it’s time to try being less sarcastic
and go outside more. I’m saying

that the sun is a rusty geode, packs dirt
in my heart. I want to be sincere about nature

but nature hates us. And why not? I get angry
when leaves don’t feel exactly right

between my fingertips and how the moon has already
been swallowed by every poem. What is left

that hasn’t been painted on some cave wall?
Rabbits in the underbrush. Bees blinking out like light.

We are a series of endless binaries like teeth
in an opening mouth. This may be the problem.

I’ve got to get back to my body but nothing’s working.
This is the myth of being alive, that there is anything

to get back to, that we’d even want to.

A native of Mississippi, Lisa McMurtray is an MFA candidate at Florida State University.
  • Lost Creation
    César Dávila Andrade, Translated by Jonathan Simkins
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    Tomaž Šalamun, Translated from the Slovenian by Brian Henry