"Back Talk" and "Trespass"

Back Talk

This was how I learned


all foes gone

Just me here now

And free to vary





It’s a long dream to keep the clouds

That they might trespass on blue light

Cool or lush against the skin

Perfumed so daylight kisses evening

Peaceably like a soft meal


Handprints on the inner door

She likes to think she’s home


Undreamt snowfall

Keeps sweet flowers

Dry to brush the walkway


He writes to say he hopes I’m smiling

Sometimes I do, sometimes

I fasten on a photograph

When he was smiling.



Sheila E. Murphy

Sheila E. Murphy is the recipient of the Gertrude Stein Award for her book Letters to Unfinished J. (Green Integer Press, 2003). Her most recent book is Golden Milk (Luna Bisonte Prods, 2020). Reporting Live from You Know Where won the Hay(na)Ku Poetry Book Prize Competition (Meritage Press (U.S.A.) and xPress(ed) (Finland), 2018). Also in 2018, Broken Sleep Books brought out the book As If To Tempt the Diatonic Marvel from the Ivory. The chapbook Separation Theory (Writers Forum, 2004) was just reprinted (Trainwreck Press, 2022).


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 - 22:10