Tufik Y. Shayeb

Paper Cups

We were an instruction manual on holding grudges
and some ridiculous publisher wrote often, to see
how the next edition was coming along but we had
torn out many pages, promising to teach forgiveness.

We cried like the last note on a pawned instrument,
collected each others' tears in crumpled paper cups,
and toasted to the city she once called a junk drawer,
thankful to never rummage again and for leaving.

From high up it appeared to beckon, a bug-zapper
underneath our feet, the bright lights calling out;
we chewed packets of sugar to remember careless
insomnia and the nights we never slept much.

Our bodies twisted in knots, limbs always swerving,
like drunk driver cars, thirty minutes after last call,
our hands played rock-paper-scissors and the winner
ended up with most of the blankets and pillows.

My elbow didn�t fit the armrest, her palms pleading
for some time off, I have never liked small plane seats,
being taller than the average male. She was nearly
unconscious, exhausted by the steady drum of travel.

Tufik Y. Shayeb

TUFIK Y. SHAYEB�s poetry has appeared in various publications over the years, including Muzzle Magazine, Pedestal Magazine, Restless Anthology, The November 3rd Club, Lifelines, The Good Things about America, and Heyday Magazine. To date, Shayeb has published three chapbooks and one full-length collection titled, I'll Love You to Smithereens. In 2010, his latest manuscript, titled All Janked Up Zombie Suit?, was chosen as finalist for in the Write Bloody Publishing annual submission call. Currently, Shayeb works as a full time attorney and studies law, genomics, and biotechnology at Arizona State University.

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