Monique Muro


When You Need Your Coffee Black

It’s paranoia and the parasites with it pushing forty. As with the brusque push of a paramedic passing, there’s nothing to see here. Like your father’s hands on your shoulders at a baseball game and the way you shy away from his kisses now. The way your lover shies away from yours is paramount to this. A paralyzed drunk at the piano keys to your left sings show tunes and you miss the fellow you could have been, the coffee pooling to a deeper black in creamy porcelain at your grip. (Remember how you said as I got older life would be easier?) Afterwards you drove home without your hands on the wheel, and before too long it was like someone else was driving and you didn’t want to see anyone. The way the doctor won’t see you now.  If you could please leave the door open when you leave, the nurse says, soon you’ll see your turn. But turning away you realize you’ve already seen it, said hello even, and what’s more, goodbye.

Days For This

Sooner or later, we’ll all be staring at the same wet sponge, empty cake plate, considering our place at the table. Like picnics and genocide, there are days for this. Sometimes no food for days. My lover is a dear, dear scrooge. Water comes out but it’s never hot. Today is the only day for this. Tomorrow, the years, Palmolive and a promise ring that slips off easy. I am without a garbage disposal. The sink is filling with lettuce bits and spaghetti-ends. No Wife in this blue sponge, but this cake knife—

Those Aren’t Birds Circling There

I left my grip on things somewhere in northern Kentucky. Quick! Before they know. Third drink, pink straw, post-its with the edges flipped from too much insistence, ice in a drink sucked down, never a chance to thaw. It’s too late for me, Ma. Nearing 25, nearly there, and what waits for me? A fork lift to lower my face into the ground? My chance at a burial scrape? As I watched them lower her (a baby once) into the ground, a sprout of weed, there in the grass. Life always finds a way.  In the distance, a dead thing. Here, the same. A baby once showed me how to be small, but all I took from that was learning begets wishing, and wishing more wishes. I wish…well…to be completely honest with you, I wish I was a fish. Cause man can they move, and man if I had gills, thrills and thrills. No assembly required.


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