Erin Murphy

After Eamon Grennan’s “Start of March, Connemara”

 

You ask how the gulls find the right angle in the gale,
how they adapt to the current and let it take them

the way they were going. I could ask the same of you:
how do you find thumbed and wind-scumbled,

thrusting them together like lost lovers,
letting them glance off each other, polished stones

on our tongues? Or glitterwings making their mark,
a dance linguists call the fricative,

a word I love because it is what it means,
unlike palindrome, which resists mirroring itself

and sends me, instead, to a girl I knew in college,
the one from Glenelg — g-l-e-n-e-l-g, the same

forward and back. She had hips that looked good
in boy jeans and a way of making the professor

believe she’d done the reading when she hadn’t
even bought the book. Do you see what just happened,

how I started in your lyrical world of shorelines
and wave-peaks and wound up recording

slumber party giggles through a thin wall? Your gulls:
maybe they don’t harness wind after all.

Maybe they give in to each gust and forsake their plans,
having learned long ago to want what they have.

Erin Murphy is the author of Science of Desire (Word Press, 2004) and a second poetry collection, Too Much of This World, forthcoming from Mammoth Books. She is Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at Penn State Univers

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