p h i l i p    s c h a e f e r



Pluto Is No Longer A Planet

The Ocean Is Wet Salt Wearing A Robe

Pluto Is No Longer A Planet


For instance, the sky is revolting.
Magpies weave parabolas between trees,
black rainbows tailing through the open
cut of clouds. Pillow fat. The future
falling warm with thunder around its neck.
Here we speak sideways. Geese and rain.
Children holding nothing but the burnt ends
of their kites. Old Folgers, rusted through,
cupped string conversations. Winds inside
these winds spiral cigarette butts around
the yard. Fool's gold. In the forgetting
dark, we take off our names. We become
something like lightning, cracked bone.


The Ocean Is Wet Salt Wearing A Robe


I am tired of being tied
to my own death.

A cow casts a long shadow
under the barn light,

the one moths make love to
until they're buzzing wisps

of flame. These days
rain covers everything

with sound: the garden,
the robotic shoulders

of children billowing
through their imaginations.

I've never shot a handgun
but Id like to

hold a bullet between
my teeth. Give it a name.

Carmelito. Hezekiah's
Refuge. A friend

once described
the splayed flesh

of an apple as robin
feathers floating.

A piñata burning.
I don't really have friends

anymore. On weekends
I fish through the produce

aisle. Pick up old fruit,
place them to my ear.


PHILIP SCHAEFER's collaborative chapbook Smoke Tones is forthcoming from Phantom Limb (2015), and his poems are out or forthcoming in Forklift Ohio, DIAGRAM, Fourteen Hills, RHINO, Interim, NightBlock, and Tinderbox among others. He can usually be found tending bar at the craft distillery in Missoula, where he recently received his MFA from the University of Montana.

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