We’re a support group circling around loss. I won’t say with who but I made a pact with someone in this room to funnel bleach at the start of last night’s 10 o’clock news. I had never felt so clean. I had never feltso in control of the ways a body surrenders. But nothing is real But nothing is true and I was the only one to make good. I was the only one to see god in the SMPTE bars. (I still don’t even know if I believe in God.) I am here not because my death feels important (in fact, it feels so unimportant) but because the news makes me want to romanticize the ways those—who choose to live-- die. The news has called us dead too many times.
Patrick Schiefen is an international writer from Upstate New York who currently writes and performs in Shanghai, China. His writing is greatly influenced by topics of identity, politics, and sexuality and aims to build community through his writing. His work has appeared in publications both inside and outside of China, most recently in High Shelf Press and From Whispers to Roars. If You Know, You Know is his first collection of poetry and was launched with the help of Literary Shanghai in September 2019. Find more information about him on his website, patrickschiefen.com.