Green Hills Literary Lantern






I love her to be at the kitchen sink,

back to me, washing and tearing apart


a head of lettuce like it is her own body.

Hands around the watery green


with musical efficiency.

A tortured violinist.


She’s humming Sinatra, peeling

carrots like scales from my eyes.


Right as the knife sighs into the tomato,

her head tilts a little – as if trying


to remember the name of a dead relative – 

then lifts up, because memory is hard.


I want her to see what shoulder blades

do to a man from ten feet away.


How everyone has an addiction problem.

How need propitiates need until nothing


is left but the core, fleshed out,

leaves in the salad bowl,


waiting to be dressed.





Philip Schaefer is a recent graduate of Truman State University. In between bartending in Chicago and fending off the cold, he writes out his wonder. This is his third published poem.