“Summer, Corpus Christi,” by Joddy Murray


(”Feeling a little peaky” by Adam Meek, CC BY 2.0)

Summer, Corpus Christi

These cobblestone foreheads
peppered in long genetic lines—
like head ivy, like finger flowers—
pocked in 7th grade and contended:
now find a landing strip for my bicycle
or throw once more the rusted hatchet
into unfinished garage walls. Sweat
fills all these ridges, drips onto
sage-green, plastic salad
bowls used for corn flakes
while crickets frantically gazelle
ahead of me as I walk through
thick, orange, shag carpet. Heat
builds first on my head—an engine
so loose it exhausts
its own blood exhaust—and syncopated
chirping is busy bluing the already
steamed dusk. I know
clouds, where crawdads
can be found, how to be pleasant.
I am centered on nothing;
orbiting myself, no satellite
or tidal influence anywhere.


Joddy Murray’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in over 70 journals, including,  most recently, The Broken Plate, DUCTS, Existere, Licking River, Meridian, McNeese Review, Minetta Review, Moonshot Magazine, Painted Bride Quarterly, Pembroke Magazine, Southampton Review, Stickman Review, and Texas Review. He currently teaches writing and rhetoric in Fort Worth, Texas.