Weather, Then You Picked the Wrong Place to Stay

by Peter Twal

And all memory is just like bagging the last pile of leaves in the fall and the dew
soaking through my shoes and the water    moccasin nestled at the heart of it all    Could it be that
simple     your ghost more afraid of me than I should be of it every time I say your name in the mirror or     tape together some lightning rods in your likeness    and why, here we are my    
living room    you wrapping a plastic bag around my head    and my tongue trying to poke a hole
through the past    Should I mention I like what you’ve done with your hair
Taking this chance to impress you, scrawling   mental notes across my palm like    don’t look
away at dinner    when her jaws ratcheting closed like a cartoon bear trap tear apart her lamb
or your arm    Note: mirrors help to heal phantom limbs     All memory is just the desire
to kill someone or thing again   Same as baby teeth, our earliest tattoos eventually fall out,
you told me that    the teetering bookshelf tattooed down my back will crumble,    leaving
my spine in such masterpieces    You’re in the room but a text: we’ve already conceived
of the atomic bomb, yes, so fuck the table setting tonight   Another: should I melt the butter or sharpen the butter knife instead     One more: fork goes on the inside or outside of the body

Peter Twal is an Arab American, an electrical engineer, and an editor at PARAGRAPHITI. Recently graduated with an MFA from the University of Notre Dame, he is the recipient of the Samuel and Mary Anne Hazo Poetry Award, and his poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Kenyon Review Online, The Journal, Yemassee, DIAGRAM, Bat City Review, New Delta Review, Forklift, Ohio, New Orleans Review, and elsewhere.