I am a traveling mirage. A dream circus unraveling. Because I am losing face I see your face tattooed on every neck of sky. I tell myself things like I am mayor of this garden in Idaho. Tuesdays are my Sabbath. Two juncos are playing piccolo on the shoulder of a sycamore and I am working the trunk with my silver shovel. Some jewels are edible, others bow low. I am your hickey-suck and charm necklace. Tell me I’m agreeable. Remind me why I wear a cape around the yard, a crown of light bulbs to sleep. Together we renamed ourselves Oleander. I am of York. My blanket becomes a kilt at Christmas. These are sentences within sentences within porcelain dolls. I hug them each, uncupping language with a black tongue. Sorrow and sweetness giving birth back and forth. I am growing permanent. I call out things in the long hallway of your ear as if it were still a doorway I’m allowed to enter. I’ve given up wearing shoes. I discuss your old underwear with myself. One of us is missing out. Here is my talismanic mania. Here is my yarn corpse. The first words ever spoken were in dinosaur. The last. I am gnawing on branches. I am not your idiot. I am. Amen.

Philip Schaefer's collaborative chapbook Smoke Tones is forthcoming from Phantom Limb and his poems are out or forthcoming in Fourteen Hills, RHINO, Interim, The National Poetry Review, Pacifica, Toad, NightBlock, The Boiler and elsewhere. He's a recent graduate of the University of Montana's MFA program, where he tends bar for the craft distillery in Missoula.