I want to remember what it feels like to hurt
and be hurt. Paint me wild hydrangea orange,
a truck in the 70s flashing down a Montana
highway without regret. Paint me the glowing
skull of a cigarette. We try to be good
to each other until we aren't. I want someone
to paint and mop their hair in splatter. Run it
across the walls and furniture. A man
or a woman may place a baby between ruffles
of trash in the alley and think it comfort.
Paint hate and call it exactly that. I am so afraid
of who we will become. Trees burning
from high noon sun knowing nothing
of smoke. Let's stay up all night
until the moon is a mirror of silk
power. Let's bloom into gods, sea
anemone. Someday we will all wear
tarpaulins and drink rosewater and break
songs from the river's laughter and know why
blue begins as crystal then suffers from peen
hammer. Let's paint our insides blood, fuse red.
Philip Schaefer is the author of three chapbooks. [Hideous] Miraculous is available from BOAAT Press, while Radio Silence (forthcoming 2016 from Black Lawrence Press) and Smoke Tones (available from Phantom Books) were co-written with poet Jeff Whitney. Individual work is out or due out in Thrush, Guernica, The Cincinnati Review, Forklift Ohio, DIAGRAM, Sonora Review, H_NGM_N, The Adroit Journal, Vinyl, and Hayden's Ferry Review among others. He tends bar at a craft distillery in Missoula, where he received his MFA from the University of Montana.