In the Thick of It
                                                                    —Matthew Murrey

These young poets on love:
you’d think it was all
in the hands, the pivot
and slide, necks, beds,
beads of sweat and sweet
cum’s perfumes—
which it is, though
we have other
things to tell them.
Above the door, the clock
needs a battery. A cloak
of dust dulls the framed
couple. A sink
of dishes waits for bare
hands. I dare them
to include electricity
bills, evening meetings
with teachers, trips
to the emergency room,
the fifth inning again,
the dryer tumbling, and grass
that never stops growing.
Oh, it is also night,
the children asleep and
the bedsprings singing
and the Lord’s name taken
wholly and lusciously in vain.

(This poem is available in our store  
as a broadside signed by the author.)

Matthew Murrey

Matthew Murrey’s poems have appeared in many journals such as Prairie Schooner, Poetry East, and Rise Up Review. He received an NEA Fellowship in Poetry a number of years ago, and his debut poetry collection, Bulletproof, selected by Marilyn Nelson, was published in February 2019 by Jacar Press. Murrey is a high school librarian in Urbana, Illinois, where he lives with his partner. They have two adult sons. His website is at

ISSN 2472-338X
© 2019