Matthew Murrey

Almost, but not quite.
Quiet as a moth
against a lampshade, a sheet
being folded, the breath
of one you love. Still
breathing? Yes.
In my dream of the end
I walk such a hush,
every flake a minute
that has fallen away.
She says, “Winter is silence.”
I reply, “Are you sure?”
Consider the second hand
going nowhere all the time,
a needle pulling thread,
scissors snipping at the edge,
lips parting, my hand patting
the lid three times, minutes
before the hired men
lower it in, cover it for good.
Finger to the lips: shhhh.

Matthew Murrey’s work has appeared in various journals such as Tar River Poetry, Poetry East, and Rattle. He received an NEA Fellowship in Poetry a number of years ago, and his first book manuscript is seeking a publisher. He is a high school librarian in Urbana, Illinois where he lives with his partner. Their two sons live in the Pacific Northwest. Matthew’s website is