Ryan Bender-Murphy

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Stuck in the jelly
of the machine.

Stuck
with no oxygen mask,
no oxygen tank.

I push through a horizon
where a face appears
and disappears
between giant spheres.

I wiggle around,
caught in a fog
that doesn’t let go.

Hair rips from my skin.
My second body emerges.

The spheres grow lighter,
and I can see the thousands
squirming.

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Ryan Bender-Murphy’s chapbook, First Man on Mars, was published by Phantom Books in 2013. His other work has recently been published in Better, Cartridge Lit, Country Music, Everyday Genius, and Hobart. He has started a journal called Hardly Doughnuts.

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