Pain of this season. Some
bit-part of a heart gives
in, a crumbled sentence flattens.
Fold here.

There are cherry bombs
beside cherry pies. Nervous
detonations across the globe.
You mean to go
into this world by yourself?

Fold the top down
along the dotted line. Continue

lifting up. Fold bottom up,
corners down,
create a center.
                         A spring-like prayer,
a loud gong.
That’s your life trying to stay.

Wildfires dust blankets
over floors and across avenues,
soothsayers read into various faults.
Another end-of-the-world-scenario
smolders this smoked town.

Any live pistol is conditional.
When you let go,
the frog might be triggered
to leap from conception.
Own its motion.
Frog takes on a story of its own.

All this climbing in
and out has made us less
than gorgeous today.   Forget it.
Fold here.

Michelle Murphy is the author of Jackknife & Light, (Avec Books) and the more recent Synonym for Home (Wet Cement Press). Jackknife & Light was shortlisted for the National Poetry Series as well as the PEN West Literary Award. A chapbook (portfolio) in the journal VERSE was published as a finalist for the 2015 Tomaž Šalamun Prize.  Recent work was published in Timber. She is an editor with Wet Cement Press (Berkeley, CA) and lives in Reno, Nevada.


Photography by: Darko Pribeg

How to Fold a Paper Frog

by Michelle Murphy

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