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  • Patrick Schiefen


Updated: May 13, 2022

i call them ghosts because

transparent sounds like transient /

it’s an easy metaphor to explain

the haunting of boys who come to haunt /

they don’t ask how long i’ve been alive here /

they don’t ask how long i’ve been observing

boat after boat cut through the whitecaps

carrying new bodies, reddening already

and lusting to holiday outside of their skins /

they ask politely for mine

up until they’re no longer polite /

flesh for flesh, the boys promise and promise

and promise /

it’s all unfinished business /

they only truly want for sacrifice /

they only truly want me to reveal the secrets

of the living /

i call them ghosts because

i can’t touch them without them leaving

me cold //


Patrick Schiefen (he/him) is an American writer and creator currently based in Koh Phangan, Thailand. While living in Shanghai, he was the Chief Editor of A Shanghai Poetry Zine and collaborated with various literary and storytelling groups, including Unravel, I Am Enough, and the Shanghai Writing Workshop.

He has had poetry published by High Shelf Press, From Whispers to Roars, and Ample Remains and short stories published by Zenith Lit Mag and Nymphs. His first book of poetry, If You Know, You Know, was published in 2019.

Check out more of Patrick Schiefen’s work at

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