Erin Murphy

Reverse Alchemy

Forget those bullion bricks
and gaudy chains around
the neck. I am perfecting
the long tradition of turning
gold to lead. See: autumn
leaves. See: lust. See: everyone
you’ve ever loved who’s dead.

Erin Murphy is the author of five books of poetry, most recently Distant Glitter (Word Poetry, 2013), and is co-editor of Making Poems: Forty Poems with Commentary by the Poets (SUNY Press, 2010). Her works have been published in numerous journals and anthologies and featured on Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac. She is associate professor of English at Penn State Altoona. You can learn more about her at