I was thinking about how movement
is key, how in death I want to be cremated
burn up with desire and whoosh
with the wind, backspraying
onto a friend’s face or coat,

so much better than lying in the 
ground, hands folded, at death’s 
permanent serious dinner.

We need to work on 
skipping into the room, lightly,
the way the breeze does,
the way the autumn does, 
juggling smoke and midnight.

Look, I’m trying to accept the
density of my organs, trying to turn 
my skin into glass so I can admire their 
workings like 12 black holes.

I’m trying to ponder the difference 
between thinking ‘get up’ 
and whatever subtle non-feeling 
jolt actually moves my legs in
the morning. 

How awful it is sometimes 
meeting strangers, having to 
– with each new person – scoop up
some version of yourself to hand
over from your mind’s scum,
which is why I don’t laugh at
the Tony Robbins self-help group
who walked on hot coals, 
burning themselves badly 
to the newspapers’ delight.

B Y   A D A M   S C H E F F L E R  

T I N Y   A S T H M A T I C   G H O S T


​​H E R M E N E U T I C   C H A O S   J O U R N A L

Adam Scheffler's first book of poems, A Dog's Life was selected by Denise Duhamel as the winner of the Jacar Press Poetry Book Contest. His poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, The Antioch Review, Rattle, North American Review, Verse Daily, and many other venues. He has been nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize and is the winner of River Styx’s 2014 International Poetry Contest.