Lusus Naturae

Mark Murphy



You stumble forwards with your crutches

as if you might walk before you crawl


Your father turning into a rare shade

of yellow and black


No amount of stage presence

can prepare the organism for disease


as it wipes the slate clean, killing all

you wish to preserve


You look for solution, but the riddle

of history forces its hand, as you play devil


and advocate for historical inevitability

The forgone conclusion


already concluded

by fatigue, fever, weight loss,


bad temper




He who eschews the doll’s house

for Thoreau’s cabin

pays the highest price in the lottery of pain


because the whole is forever multiplying

and dividing


as it kills


like paranoia in a police spy




Now the unsecured pledge

shoots down


dreamer and desire,

as father and daughter retire


to the seaside

in the hope of resurrection,



and therapeutic certainty




You ask if perpetual dread is the result

of boundless knowledge


Your father is doubled over

hunched back, gathering dust and facts


like a thesis


as he coughs up tar and blood –

insists on another cut-rate, Cuban cigar




He who would ration need in a bid

to rationalise, demonise


and demonetise –

might well, fall foul himself,

of poaching

the ear of corn




Could’ve been the port and tobacco

Could’ve been the pills


Could’ve been the poverty,

the love, plain old hope


Could’ve been the dreaming

that had to end

Mark A. Murphy is an Ace poet, living with GAD, and OCD. His work has appeared in The Magnolia Review, ISACOUSTIC and DREICH Magazine. He has poems forthcoming in Cultural Weekly and Acumen.

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