Tag Archives: Loneliness



The older I get, the more questions I ask, and the harder those questions are to answer.

Once upon a time, I asked things like, “why is the sky blue?” and “where do babies come from?” Now I ask questions like, “why am I so blue?” and “why do babies die?”

Sometimes, I feel like nothing is certain. I’m not sure that G-d exists, but I pray to the Creator daily. I’m afraid to be alone in the Universe – I don’t even like to sleep alone. I am relatively certain that the ocean tides are pulled by the moon, but I can’t decipher the ebb and flow of my own body. When will my period come? Why does my womb bleed when really it is my heart that hurts?

I recently heard the term “skin hunger” to describe people who have gone too long without human touch. I think I might be starving to death because it has been so long since someone has held me that I can’t remember the last time I tasted the salt of skin other than my own.

All my life, I’ve been told that I am too much, but I’ve always felt that I’m not enough.

I’m longing for someone to reach out to, for someone to share my life with, but I’m afraid that I will crush their spirit like a fragile eggshell in my clumsy desperation not to die alone. I’m scared to say what I really feel because I don’t want to be abandoned. How do I say what is in my  heart without scaring others away?

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This work, “Questions” by Beth Murch, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.




I never write poetry anymore.
I don’t remember how to.
I remember red wine and clove cigarettes.
I remember singing Tom Waites at 4 AM.
I remember counting syllables like a greedy child counts coins for candy.
Words don’t come easily now.
There’s only the hum of the refrigerator for company.

I only sleep with escape artists.
I pretend that I am not awake whenever lovers quietly leave
so that I never have to say goodbye.
They pretend that they will see me again.
We pretend that red wine stains come out of white winter coats.
Nothing is final –
Except my unwelcome solitude.

My special talent is turning inside-out.
Let me show you my entrails.
This is my heart.
These are my veins.
These are the hungry ghosts that play between my organs.
I call them my emotions.
They don’t call me anything at all.


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This work is licensed, “Untitled” by Beth Murch, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

That Trick With The Cherry Stem


Even if you learn that trick with the cherry stem,
they won’t stay.
Your lovers will evaporate like water in a kettle boiled dry,
before the coffee is pressed,
before you are dressed,
because your mouth is a graveyard of kisses.
Other people’s teeth and tongues
pass between your stained lips to die.
Sighs of desire, of lies, of satisfaction, of lies, of promises, of lies
float like ocean debris on your saliva.
They don’t say your name because they don’t know who you are.
You don’t hear your name because you don’t know who you are.
Your bed is a container for the carcasses of caresses gone by,
the sheets are a museum displaying the ancient burial techniques of a lonely womyn:
hopes mummified in cotton, perfumed with stale cigarette smoke, sprinkled with cracker crumbs, matted in cat fur.
A night with you is more funerary rite than passion.
A knotted cherry stem is only a headstone in a place people are afraid to linger.



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This work, “That Trick With The Cherry Stem” by Beth Murch, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

When the Sky is Violet


I wish you would drive all night to be with me at sunrise.
I want you to knock on my door when the sky is violet
To run your fingers through my dreadlocks
And bury your face in my neck.
I wish that I could stand that way forever
Me in my nightgown, still mostly asleep
You in your boots, still mostly awake
Wrapping around each other like vines on a trellis
While birds untuck their heads from under their wings
And begin clearing their throats for their morning’s first song.

Image from Zastavki.com


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This work, “When the Sky is Violet” by Beth Murch, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

~ 4 AM ~


~4 AM ~

I’m not reading C.R. Avery in the bathtub,
Prostate-exam deep into the middle of the night,
Chainsmoking Djarum Specials because I am depressed.
Really, I’m a big mama burlesque queen holding court in Bubble Kingdom.
Some birds wash for the hell of it.

~ 4 AM ~

I left my heart and my phone charger in Vancouver.
I miss one more than the other.
The mountains were the headboard to our bed,
And the ocean was the wet spot on our sheets.
I really wish I remembered my phone charger.

~ 4 AM ~

There is a piece of mail that I never open.
That last Christmas card you sent me
Sits on top of my stereo between the case for Erykah Badu’s Live
And some seashells from a vacation I never went on.
It’s getting harder to remember the sound of your laughter.

~ 4 AM ~

It scares me that when I die,
No one will notice that I am gone.
Everything that I ever loved will end up in a dumpster.
Flowers will grow through my ribcage.
Tree roots will crack through my pelvis.

~ 4 AM ~

He told everyone that I was too sad.
I didn’t have his cocaine to rub into my love to make my heart numb.
I had confessed I had a fear of abandonment.
He said he would never leave, and it is true.
I still find bits of his lies wherever I go.

~ 4 AM ~

I’ve stopped writing love poems for people who don’t appreciate them.
Instead, in red lipstick on cocktail napkins,
I write “if you park on my street after 2 AM, you will get a ticket.”
It’s not romantic, but neither is a $30 fine at 4 AM.
And let’s face it: nobody is staying for my complementary continental breakfast.

~ 4 AM ~

Dried umbilical cords, resin, old teeth, feathers, and herbs.
Prayers, spells, chants, incantations, dirges, and degrees.
Psalmistry and palmistry.
Someone once asked if I was a good witch or a bad witch.
I said if they ever figured it out to let me know.

~ 4 AM ~

She writes me notes saying that she hopes that I am okay.
I don’t know how to tell her that at 4 AM,
Nothing is okay.
The only thing to look forward to is the contused eye of night
Finally fading into the orange-green bruise of dawn.


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This work, “~4 AM~” by Beth Murch, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Stable As Eggs Served Over Easy


You set yourself on fire for people who are only too happy to watch you burn.
They dance hand-in-hand around your pyre singing horrible top 40 hits,
Celebrating with margaritas,
While you watch your body melt like wax,
And wonder why no one cares that you are starting to feel the heat.

Your hands are bloody with abrasions as the old woody rope you tie to friends in hopes of keeping them connected to you
Unravels so quickly between your fists that it smokes with heat.
A great white shark will struggle for its life while caught on a hook, smashing everything around it in the attempt to break free,
But you expect humans to behave so differently.

You live in a glass house so you know exactly who throws stones and how well their aim is,
So why are you so surprised when you find cracks under the eaves
And ragged holes with jagged teeth along the walls?
Car crashes always occur in slow motion, even when someone is speeding,
And yet, you never learn to get out of the way.

Nobody but you wears their heart on their sleeve as a fashion statement.
Ventricles are so last season
And love may be grand, but it is covered in blood.
You should spend less time concerned with pathogens and more time learning to keep your organs on the inside of your skin.

You are as stable as eggs served over easy,
The yolks of your eyes always on the verge of spilling out,
Getting feelings all over the plate, dripping them onto the table,
Knocking over water glasses as you try to mop them up with the hem of your skirt.
No one wants to eat with you because you are a mess.
Maybe if you learned some bloody table manners, someone would actually want to split dessert with you
Instead of running away and leaving you with the bill.

Some people know how to love appropriately.
They recognize wolves playing dress-up with cashmere.
They portion out their affection according to the calorie chart on the back of the box.
They don’t pray over strange babies or make up songs for their cats.
They don’t need anyone to stick around or to take care of them.
You have no concept of how to love appropriately.
Your expressions of love are the equivalent of broken heels on shoes, runs in stockings, lipstick on teeth, and stray M&Ms melting in the cups of your bra.
You love like the cloud of fragrance in a department store cosmetic aisle: too much, too strong, too migraine-inducing, too asthma-attacky.
You can’t tell the difference between predators and lambs, and you would probably still fight to give the wolf the benefit of the doubt even while you were halfway down his throat.
You think if you perfect your buttercream frosting recipe that you will heal the world.
You think if you hug someone hard enough they will just stop resisting, surrender, and stay forever.

In 2013, Walt Disney released a musical movie called “Frozen” with the breakout hit song, “Let It Go”.
For three years, you have heard this children’s anthem at nearly every home, every coffee shop, and every karaoke party,
But you still haven’t realized that the words won’t change into “Don’t Let Go” even if you shout them really loudly,
Because you are still hoping that someone will come build a snowman with you,
Because you still wish upon stars,
Because you still think there are pots of gold at the end of the rainbow.

When will you learn that growing up means no longer needing to hold hands,
And that love, much like most fast food, should never really be supersized?
People are going to leave you.
People will not want your love.
This is called “reality”.

Maybe it is time to go on a diet – a love diet.
Maybe I need to stop being an all-you-can-eat buffet of emotions,
And more like one of those microwave Lean Cuisines.


heart-shaped egg
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Creative Commons License
This work, “Stable As Eggs Served Over Easy” by Beth Murch, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Please Come Home


Sometimes, in the middle of the night,
I wake up
I reach across the bed for you,
Just to make sure that you are still there.

 When I remember that you left,
I keep reaching,
Hoping that if I can stretch far enough
Across pillows and blankets,
Hallways and doorways,
Cities and countries,
Across minutes and hours…
…I might be able to touch your hand after all.

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Creative Commons License
This work, “Please Come Home” by Beth Murch, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.