untitled-1969
Unfortunately,
by Mish (Eileen) Murphy

I am still
waiting
for my husband to finish
painting
the living room—

for your birthday,
he agreed
six months ago.

Did I mention
that the one wall
he did paint
was
painted

black,

the one with the
hanging
big screen TV
the size
of
a twin bed

that he bought for himself
without asking me?

I do love that TV, though…

While he was painting
the black wall

he dripped a splotch
of black
paint
on one of the
dingy white walls,

so
when I was watching
my shows on TV,

out of the corner of my eye
I would see
what looked like a

cockroach

climbing up the living room wall.

And after I nagged and nagged him
to evict the roach splotch,

I eventually realized
that this black
doodle
would still be
climbing
the same dingy wall

until Ragnarök died down.

Hire a professional?

Sorry.
He spent all our
extra money
on the
TV—

my “real”
birthday gift…

In the meantime,
the only light
in the living room
comes from
the flickering TV screen,

as shadows
slowly
drape
the room,

covering
all insects,
big and small.

PAINTING: Untitled by Jiro Yoshihara (1969).

Murphy

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mish (Eileen) Murphy is Associate Poetry Editor for Cultural Weekly magazine and teaches English and Literature at Polk State College, Florida. She has an M.A. in Fiction Writing/Teaching of Writing from Columbia College, Chicago. She just published her third book of poetry (fourth book overall), the collection Sex & Ketchup (Concrete Mist Press Feb. 2021). Fortune Written on Wet Grass (Wapshott Press April 2020) was her first full length collection. Her second book Evil Me was published August 2020 (Blood Pudding Press). She’s had more than 100 individual poems published in the U.S, Canada, and U.K., in journals such as Tinderbox, Writing in a Woman’s Voice, and Thirteen Myna Birds, and many others. Mish also is a prolific book reviewer and visual artist; she illustrated the children’s book Phoebe and Ito are dogs written by John Yamrus (2019). Visit her at mishmurphy.com and on Facebook and Instagram