Gregg Murray

How Much Longer

Look at this miracle of a traffic jam
                  in which you imitate fatigue.
                  Perhaps it is your heart.

Reach out your hands to me
                  with their walls. I will identify
                  the room they suggest.

The roadway is a field after the flames,
                  so we evolved to express
                  that idea. Still, I work to understand.

You lean upon the window as if to say
                  you have forgotten, and then—how
                  to say this—you have.

One hopes that there were fucks given.
                  And yet, the evidence mounts.
                  Outside then. Line by line, the stares

of passengers in this sweltering colloquy
                  teach us about eyesight itself,
                  how it twitches from rabid sunlight.

Unless you can fit grammatically inside
                  an emotion, I refuse to have commerce
                  with so many. I refuse.

A harmony rises from the hood’s mirage
                  like a variety of sacredness.
                  One of the shadow matrices

oozes by like a messianic candelabra.
                  The silence at your throat
                  guffaws in dizziness.

You evaporate like the colors in a pearl.
                  Prepackaged darkness, still
                  hours off. And I live minutes

from here, am practically torchlight.


[ When I Was a Faith Healer ]

I cut my teeth on the hopeless. I'd hold
their hands, ask with patience what cares

were cursed. The devils that in amorous
colloquy made them weep openly.

They knew it was alright, and I worked
through recollection. I was a technician.

I gave them the reason, backed by a vision.
I moved on to the wicked. I was led

into the heavy rooms. Family members
stood at cracked doors, fingering beads

and crosses. I summoned kinder forces.
My pyrotechnics were practical, flares

and flint, kindling and rabble-rousing,
rending, espousing. The hell was hot,

love was water. These days grew longer.
In middle age I turned to the blind eye.

It was my sports car, my affair, my turn.
There was never enough money to burn.

I was a physician of the Lord. It took
time to feel the word, to see demons

in the iris black as cataracts. Lay on
the hands, lay on the scalpel, no one

understands the science of spectacle.
There is no guide for the impossible.

But I'll say this, diligent student, I believe
it respectable, noble, even regal,

to make way for the miracle.


Gregg Murray is Assistant Professor of English at Georgia State University and the founding editor of Muse /A Journal. He has recent poems in Caketrain, DIAGRAMPank, Birmingham Poetry Review, Carolina Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. He is the author of Ceviche. Gregg also writes for The Huffington Post.