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The Big Crunch: Many Poems Written by Many People Contained in One Body

By Tadgh Murphy

Editor's Note: Due to the formatting of this poem, it is best enjoyed on desktop.

What can you remember?

You don’t know what you look like.

And you don’t know what your best friend looks like.

And you don’t know your best friend but your best friend knows you.

You remember a bowl of oatmeal. A cosmic brownie

with the tiny chocolate chips pushed in.

So the memories don’t touch. So what? Who cares! You have the important ones:


Your best friend’s name.

How to make every bite of brownie a surprise. That

Peas and Mashed Potatoes Don’t Touch. Linc

and Deborah Don’t Touch. Your Father and Your

Mother Don’t Touch. In Fact, Your Father and

You Don’t Touch. What was the last thing that

Touched? Your hand to your hip? Your thumb to

your lip? Your ankle to your knee? Your




Where’s her?



It’s all you and your.

Why can’t it be me?

Okay… so it’s me. Okay… so what do I know? What’s

rolling around in the skull? Well… I remember. I

remember that 2 and 3 and 4 were best friends.

I remember that 6 loved 7. I remember 7 loved 8.

I remember 8 treats 7 like shit and wants 6 dead. I remember

9 wants 6 dead for the fun of it.

Where’s 1 and 5? Who cares!

They don’t touch! I remember when he touched me

And I remember when he didn’t. I just remembered – I’m high.

I just remembered – I have purple hair. I just remembered - I

thought I was going to be the next virgin mary when I was in 4th

grade. I just remembered - I’d fantasize about getting breast

cancer in 5th grade so I could cut off the tits

that hadn’t grown in yet. I just remembered

I left my charger at work.

I just realized: I don’t remember the oatmeal.

I don’t remember the brownie.

I can’t touch those ones anymore.

Where was I?

My Father and My Mother Don’t Touch.

Where was I?

I don’t know what I look like.

Where was I? A cosmic something.

Where was I?

I know how I want to die.

When the universe ends,

It will snap back in on itself

And explode.

The universe ends at its beginning.

I want to die at the beginning.

But I was never born to begin with,

I simply started.

I crawled out of the head of this body,

All limbs and knives for teeth.

And once I stretched my legs

I climbed back in through the mouth.

It was too cold out there on my own.


Tadgh Murphy (he/they) is a Chicago based poet, cat dad, and all around dork ass loser. He has previously been published in Sledgehammer Lit, Stone of Madness Press, The Lovers Literary Journal, En*gendered Literary Magazine, and Powders Press. Their poetry will also be featured in the We Are Dance Collective’s Spring Showcase.


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