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Monday, March 11, 2024


by Matthew Murrey

has stains on the backsplash,
a bag of chips on the counter, 
a beer can from the night before, 
a toaster with one slot that works,
a light switch lightly smudged,
one plant too big for the sill,
a cabinet door that will not close,
a fruit bowl with a bruised banana,
a compost bin a bit too full,
chairs hung with coats and shirts,
half a bottle of Spanish wine, 
a clock on the wall running slow, 
a clock-radio shining red time,
a charger for your phone and mine,
a stove with two black iron pans,
a wall with photos and faded cards,
a couple of mismatched coffee cups,
a table with worn veneer where 
no one’s ever sat with diamonds
shining on a cross or shown  
such straight and stainless teeth 
in a smile so forced and white.

Matthew Murrey is the author of Bulletproof (Jacar Press, 2019) and the forthcoming collection, Little Joy (Cornerstone Press, 2026). Recent poems can be found in Roanoke Review, ballast, HAD, and elsewhere. He was a school librarian for 21 years, and lives in Urbana, IL with his partner. He can be found on Twitter, Instagram and Bluesky under the handle @mytwords.