“Map to the Moon” by Matthew Murrey

Ekphrastic Challenge, November 2015: Artist’s Choice


Photograph by Meghan Tutolo
Painting by Meghan Tutolo. “Map to the Moon” was written by Matthew Murrey for Rattle’s Ekphrastic Challenge, November 2015, and selected by Tutolo as the Artist’s Choice winner.

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Matthew Murrey


That is the dream I had
when I was stuck in that little town,
wishfully watching planes in the sky,
thumbing the atlas all the time.

I dreamed I’d go to the purple
city and find you. I believed
that lights would turn on
in the tall buildings to welcome me.

And I did go,
though I took an overnight train
that rolled in after sunrise and took me
past the stadium and brick warehouses
and apartments with shades drawn.

And there was a river
and a bridge, and at night a yellow
brilliance at the center which I wanted
as a moth wants the light
it flings itself at over and over.
And you were there,
which is why memory paints it
so lovely, so purple, so speckled—
even prettier than it really was—

and tells a little lie about how young
the moon was, when everybody
knows it’s older than dirt
and that love is the youngster.
That was decades ago,
but I remember falling
like it was yesterday. So yes,
the night and moon were young,
and my heart waxed full.

Ekphrastic Challenge, November 2015
Artist’s Choice Winner

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Comment from the artist, Meghan Tutolo: “It’s simple, but so honest. I like that. I like that it doesn’t have to try to reach me, true romance.” (website)

For more information on Matthew Murrey, visit his website.

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