Tufik Shayeb – The Worst Part – Pandemic

The Worst Part
by Tufik Shayeb

when this disease
infected our words
we held our breaths 

and covered our faces
like shuttered windows,
ashamed of our bodily

betrayals, our hands
wrung dry, with sanitizer
and neighborly concern 

we gasped
in our mortal outrage,
in our need to exhale

we learned to be alone
with familiar specters
on dimly lit screens

and we learned, 
the days do not matter
and mostly look alike 

as we wait
for some biblical wrath
and a bird’s olive leaf, 

a distant airplane
full of masks and tubes,
and small machines 

wondering whether
we really are firstborn,
or if we will be spared 

by the miracle
of some bastard brother
we’ve never met 

and so we wait,
the whole world shivering,
as we check for fevers


Tufik Shayeb’s poetry has appeared in numerous publications, including Potomac Review, Sheepshead Review, The Menteur, Lost Lake Folk Opera, Madcap Review, Heyday Magazine, Blinders Journal,  Muzzle Magazine, Restless Anthology, The November 3rd Club, and others. To date, Shayeb has published three chapbooks and one full-length collection titled, I’ll Love You to Smithereens. Currently, Shayeb resides in Phoenix, Arizona.