Nancy Murphy lives in Los Angeles where she recently retired from corporate life. She writes and performs poetry and personal stories. Her poems are forthcoming in Stoneboat and have been previously published in Baltimore Review, Eclipse, The South Carolina Review, Altadena Poetry Review, The Louisville Review and Thirteenth Moon. Her published work and other information can be found at www.nancymurphywriter.com
HOW TO DRIVE OFF A CLIFF
As you climb the mountainside hugging
the unguarded road, you imagine the worst.
You push on because there is an empty beach
between two rocks calling from the other
side and you want to be alone. You want to feel
honeyed sun on the top of your head as you
watch waves tap out messages on the sand.
You want to break the code. As the car
accelerates, your hands search the stitching
along the wheel, you notice the soft spots,
recall all the miles this body has taken you.
The wine colored mountains your eyes
are following on the horizon recede as you miss
the last turn and start the somersault down.
Nearby sheep graze, one locks eyes with you,
silently asks if there is something you need,
you both know it is too late. You nod
back in gratitude to the animal and let go like
you have just arranged that last pillow before
sleep. In your mouth, a familiar bittersweet,
not unlike that last sip from your morning tea cup,
a mix of milk and leaves and debris at the bottom.