Maybe Your Mother Fell In Love with Fire
Patricia Colleen Murphy
She’s in the kitchen. She’s at the stove. Smell the gas. The click click click of the pilot. Must she blow to start the flame? The pan down. Your eggs. She stirs them. You see her beautiful back. Her beautiful hair in waves. You hear her laughing. She tells you a joke about horses. A horse walks into a bar. You have always loved her. She plates the eggs. She kisses the back of your head before returning to the sink. The eggs are perfect. They warm your mouth. She hums a tune. She looks out the window to see the leaves climbing the trellis. She tells you about the summer she built it, how small you were, how perfect, how you did everything she asked before she asked it. The eggs are so silky. They are so warm. You turn to thank her but she’s already burning.
Patricia Colleen Murphy teaches creative writing at Arizona State University where she is the founding editor of the literary magazine Superstition Review. Her poetry collection Bully Love was chosen by Tom Lombardo as the winner of the 2019 Press 53 Award for poetry, and her poetry collection Hemming Flames was chosen by Stephen Dunn as the winner of the 2016 May Swenson Poetry Award. Her work has appeared in many journals including The Iowa Review, Quarterly West, The American Poetry Review, and most recently, in North American Review, Poetry Northwest, Third Coast, Natural Bridge, Black Warrior Review, Copper Nickel, Puerto Del Sol, and others. A chapter of her memoir-in-progress was published as a chapbook by New Orleans Review. You can read more at patriciacolleenmurphy.com