Lusus Naturae

Mark Murphy

i

 

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

 

ii

 

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

 

iii

 

Now the unsecured pledge

shoots down

 

dreamer and desire,

as father and daughter retire

 

to the seaside

in the hope of resurrection,

redemption

 

and therapeutic certainty

 

iv

 

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

 

v

 

He who would ration need in a bid

to rationalise, demonise

 

and demonetise –

might well, fall foul himself,

of poaching

the ear of corn

 

vi

 

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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