Two Poems

by Terri Muuss

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Monday After the End of the World

I tourniquet memories bleeding into

lists written on napkins:

Don’t forget!

Put the lunch boxes in the bag,

call for an oil change and haircut,

buy new deodorant and tampons.

Clouds drag steel above the hood of my car, wrapping

cellophane around this world of lemon and salt.

I remember words but can’t get them

back. The volume turned down on everything, colors

inside eyelids. Before, life smelled like a newly peeled

orange, misting blushes and crushed velvet pockets.

Waiting—the work I’m always waiting for.

Beneath the solstice of gravity, running shoes and chocolate

bars float to the surface, held in sharpened, interstellar blue.


What Loves in Me

is asleep now, has turned

itself into dark water.

When I summon,

an imprint of your face

appears in the red flannel sheets.

How you were refugee,

executioner, lover.

There is a delicate light

that spills onto bodies

underwater. Every time

I touch dying

plants, I inherit a land

without memory,

without light,

where the tide erases

everything. Grief is

as silent as the pills

I will not take.

Come back, I say

to my quiet,

and even winter

branches stop scraping

the grey window.


Terri Muuss’ poetry has appeared in dozens of journals and anthologies and been nominated twice for a Pushcart. She is the author of Over Exposed (2013) and the one-woman show Anatomy of a Doll, named “Best Theatre: Critics’ Pick of the Week” by the New York Daily News and performed throughout the US and Canada since 1998. Muuss also co-edited Grabbing the Apple (2016), an anthology of New York women poets. As a director, actor, author and licensed social worker, Muuss specializes in the use of the arts as a healing mechanism for trauma survivors. Muuss frequently speaks, performs and runs workshops at colleges and conferences around the country. http://www.terrimuuss.com

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