By Jessica Murray

For a sign, a pinhole in the firmament,

and me the open eye.

Peace without stasis, each mellow fruit


To feel what the light feels as it bends

through any two surfaces—

These are things I’ve asked the universe for,

but never the world.

The universe, we say,


Is it because we’ve made the world

in our image,

or because each time we fall in love

is a hopeful reiteration

of the same old question: why something

instead of nothing?

Or why this thing, instead of any other?

Those wrecked bodies

in far away places, or near—children’s

closets with their clumsy

ropes and silent, watchful shoes:

that’s just the world, you say,

muscling in on the universe.

Then hold me

like a supplicant, let’s pretend

we’re innocent

as space in the teacup of time. I’m tired

of listening to this voice

in my head when, you can ask anybody,

I’m already begging.

Jessica Murray is a poet and educator living in Denton, TX. Recent poems of hers are featured in or forthcoming from Barrow Street, Berkeley Poetry Review, Guide to Kulchur, Memorious, Painted Bride Quarterly, Shenandoah, Sixth Finch, and Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology. Her website, www.if-you-want-to.com, features linked interviews with contemporary women poets.