Minor Dogma

I believe in snapping apples 
from the hard joints of August. 
I believe in holding them high 
until they become the blood 
marble eyes of hawks over 
fields. I believe in the earth. 
In the way rain fingers through it 
like full moons of acid dropped 
into a glass. I believe in taking nothing 
back. I place my chest on the hardwood 
floor and start to believe it’s a small cut 
of sun being cooled from behind 
a distant galaxy. I feel the air 
fold over me like a coffin lid. I believe 
in Cambodia. In fishing through 
ponds of rice paddies with silk 
hands. The word monsoon beading 
on my tongue until it forms a pool 
where my teeth are the basements 
of flooded buildings. Pull up the carpet, 
pick out your ruined words. I peel 
flies off the skin of dying fruit 
and smear them on a napkin. 
I flip it over and write: if we are only 
clouds, picture me a wild animal. 
Watch me foam over.

Philip Schaefer


  1. This is gorgeous.

  2. Here’s something I don’t want to leave for awhile. I want to push each line into the possible. And then do it again and again. I don’t wish I could write like this. This is enough. Glad you’re in the world, Phil.

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