Phil Shils


Felix and I watched
a house unroofed.
Cracked like an old blister

past suppuration.
Dry splitting
tinder and shredded siding.

What did I teach my son
by being the enthusiast
while he was
rapt and solemn,
thumb in mouth?

Mama fix it
he said optimistically.

Rubble to him and wreckage
to me. And just like that

the neighbors were
neighborless apart
from a garden
that lingered and

two smoking
workers, me chuckling,
and Felix intrigued with
the tumbled walls stricken
like a set.

There had been
a basement I was told.
The hole would be filled with
the house. Hardly a need

for dirt. That's how much
space we require.

Philippe Shils lives in central Illinois where he works as a physician assistant. He's had writing published online and in print in Sixth Finch, Stirring: A Literary Collection, Rattle, B O D Y, and others. A chapbook, hey hey pretty baby, is available from Right Hand Pointing Press.

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