When God Lived in New Jersey By Louisa Muniz

When God Lived in New Jersey

As a child I believed God lived in New Jersey.

When he grew tired of living with the homeless
he moved under our hickory tree.

The cardinal flanked in tree sap
let me know he always was near.

Today, where I’m from, rain hammers the earth.

Noxious weeds—yellow dock, baneberry,
hemlock—gnaw at my sleep.

I plant marigolds to repel earwigs feeding in the night.
Where I’m from, it would be too clichéd to build a wall.

Words implode, tiny firecrackers
under my skin—

Climate Change Gun Control
Coronavirus Border Wall

I’m tempted to become a Venus flytrap
to hold in grief.

In dreams I dodge-ball shadows
after watching the news.

That’s a good question indicates
the speaker has no idea how
to answer said question.

That’s a good question has the moon
spinning stone, the sea spitting foam.

By Louisa Muniz


Louisa Muniz lives in Sayreville, N.J. She holds a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from Kean University. Her work has appeared in Tinderbox Journal, Palette Poetry, Menacing Hedge, Poetry Quarterly, PANK Magazine, Jabberwock Review and elsewhere. She won the Sheila-Na-Gig 2019 Spring Contest for her poem Stone Turned Sand. Her work has been nominated for Best of the Net and a Pushcart Prize. Her debut chapbook, After Heavy Rains by Finishing Line Press was released in December, 2020

2 thoughts on “When God Lived in New Jersey By Louisa Muniz

  1. Very effectively conveys the deeling of loss and anxiety in a rapidly changing world. I especially liked the reference to the Venus flytrap and the dodging of shadows in dreams it adds a sense of vulnerability and fear.

  2. Pingback: 2023 Best of the Net Nominees | The Rising Phoenix Review

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