For Samantha in the Mirror



by Carrie Murphy

The problem of going to vacuum out your car & realizing
you're in a miniskirt so you can't bend over, the problem
of the discoloration & of the cavity that hurts if you brush it,

the problem of a papercut on your tasting finger & the honey that
gets stuck in the wound, the problem you've just noticed:
his creepy & misshapen hands waving as he talks,

& how his cheek on yours musses your blush,
the problem of the photograph: the smile in the flash &
then the crooked arm or the wonky eye or the fleshy neck or

the problem of the tropical animals at the zoo & what happens
to them during winter, the problematic situation of taking
birth control for years & the unknown of the later—or the maybe—baby,

the pregnancy scare & the non-pregnancy scare,
the small hips or the widened ones,
& that fear of merging onto the interstate,

so much movement, so much fast,
the wind that whips its way through your ballerina bun,
& all of the big & little cars plummeting along on the tar,

the problem of the mountains & the way they watch,
the way they've watched forever while
the world wends around them & the air

stays the same or maybe not the same, the
same air you breathe & the same mountains
you've been watching the way you watch

yourself in the mirror in the mornings &
think your face reflects the whole colossal sky.

Carrie Murphy is from Baltimore, MD, and received her MFA from New Mexico State University. Her first collection of poems, PRETTY TILT, is forthcoming from Keyhole Press in 2012.