A Gender Thing

by Sheila E. Murphy

One of them was not one of them. She felt it, knew it, and turned athletic on the others, muscling her way around the place, parking her semi in glove-sized spaces blocking everyone and picketing when people peeped. She reminded them of the kid nobody picked for teams. Members of the old guard were too tired to rectify their habit of excluding, sensing she was merely warming up. There was only pale connective tissue left among them, and they reverted to a batch of mismatched car parts lying in the yard. If someone won, no one knew who, and dislike kept on playing like the broken record of a dreamed tantrum.


Sheila E. Murphy is an American poet who has been writing and publishing actively since 1978. Murphy is the recipient of the Gertrude Stein Award for her book Letters to Unfinished J. (Green Integer Press, 2003). Her most recent book is Golden Milk (Luna Bisonte Prods, 2020). Reporting Live from You Know Where won the Hay(na)Ku Poetry Book Prize Competition from Meritage Press (U.S.A.) and xPress(ed) (Finland). Also in 2018, Broken Sleep Books brought out the book As If To Tempt the Diatonic Marvel from the Ivory.