E. H. Brogan
Goodbye, Muse.
I am burying you behind
this sticky bar so when
patrons spill their alcohol
you can lick your lips
and benefit. It could work
to preserve you, perhaps,
though what for’s not
my problem now, since I went
and murdered you.

Last Friday night found you
here, tucked within the crowd.
I had set a goal. We’d touched before
and hadn’t damaged anything,
not the fuel you gave me, breathless
questions, convoluted and imagined scenes.
I couldn’t spit another line
theorizing what your kisses
would be like on one more sweaty page.
I didn’t want to wonder anymore
if Muses could be real boys,
if you’d rise up and fulfill
all the implications you’d made.

Turns out if you kiss your muse,
who you’ve wanted far too long,
he might suffer heart attacks.
Maybe death from shock. It seems
my body is a gun. Muzzle, mouth,
of course, and bullet for a tongue.
It’s accurate enough.
Now I’m prying floorboards up at
three a.m. to bury you.
What a waste of time.
I was confused.
I thought I had invested.
Instead I have an ornament,
useless for real action.

You’re not breathing any more.
Maybe it was germs. Do muses
have immune systems? You’re fictitious
anyway, I can stow you here. We’re the only two
who know a murder even happened.
Frame it this way: you memorialize us both.
I call your corpse a true commemoration.

Muse, I’d like a better goodbye
but I don’t care if you recover.
The promises you sewed in me – yes, a few,
only – I have to rip out, stitch by stitch.
The meat tears. It’s not great.
You never meant to follow through.

If in death you join with other muses
tell them next time, I want options.
I want a muse who’s more complete.



E. H. Brogan wishes she was a little bit taller. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as Cider Press Review, Bop Dead City, Rufous City Review, and Star*Line. She blog-runs and co-curates at Kenning Journal, and would like you to know that if she had a girl with a number, she would call her. You can check her out on Twitter @wheresmsbrogan, too.

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