Feature image by Lucian Freud. Startled Man: Self-Portrait, 1948. Pencil, 9 × 5 3/5 in., 22.9 × 14.3 cm. © The Lucian Freud Archive.

I am a lost dog I am terrible
rash all over your house

i could hold a wishbone upside
down and empty it

i wish I could learn a lesson from you
but really only rain

you were too excited
to come and see me

i was too excited
to be loved by you

i will open my eyes and light up the earth
oh I have lost it

i have torn myself down
my breezy bad mind

tonight for show and tell
there is someone who cannot

keep singing and it is me

Wiley Birkhofer

Wiley Birkhofer (1987-2014) was a poet, musician, and artist from Menlo Park, CA. He studied English at Stanford and poetry at the graduate writing program at New York University, where he earned his MFA in 2014. Other poems can be found in Split Infinitive, Word Riot, Glittermob, and at wileybirkhofer.com.