Philip Schaefer

So much for
the lone cannon

up to its ears
in winter wheat

in the Kansas
of someone’s dying

backyard. So much                                                    
for the choke

cherries sprouting
out its mouth.

Here, the dead
stay dead.

What’s left is
still covered

in marrow reds.
Bags for the bags

of bodies. Shovels
more familiar

with grief
than gardens.

So much for
the anthem

in the throats

of porch cats,
yellow eyes

floating like
fireflies, sliced

moons over fields
siphoning bones

from the earth
as if there were

a milk in this world
sweet enough to last.





This poem was written with my head in the sand. I started to taste the world before it was the world. I drank warm cola. If anything, this is another way of trying not to die alone. Those small failures.