Addiction/Decay by Bader Shehab

Your nail polish bent light
at satisfactory fractions,
at will – playing into the night,
refracting alcoholic photons
distorting colors in a strange way;
complimenting the dying Winehouse
in an elaborate estrogen-fueled fumes,
the melodic haze fogging your aura.
I thought it was a chemical imbalance
in my mind, eyes and taste buds…
It’s believing my lie; the simulacra,
or it could be another illusion – Continue reading

Sun/Moon by Bader Shehab

Spanish-style dwellings flanking the tile flooring, horseshoes echoing perfectly under the attic as steroids-infused steads walk so gracefully while bleeding from the nose – it’s my lucky day at the track. They, inside sources connected to powerful cartel jefes, claimed number 7 and 3 are juiced to the gills and I’m putting down a good ten grand on each because to hell with my probation officer, ex-wife and prison councilor they were all wrong. The cold corona seems to facilitate the sweat across the flower-patterned shirt but it’s my khaki shorts that took the most beating. Apparently, one of the golfer’s escorts had the evil eye. That or the devil got poor number 7 he tripped face-first at the initial turn, Jesus… The number 3 horse, on the other hand, came in second – looks like I’m drinking myself to sleep in the afternoon again.  Continue reading

Corruption by Bader Shehab

Many people know me, but it still gets kinda lonely. Not the stars that shoot my name or the camera flashes that authenticate the lines  on my forehead. Or that perfect area where I rest my hand as we slow dance with my co-starlet at the ball to a film premiere ever gave me a seldom feeling of belonging. Sometimes, I’d wander into a room and just like that – I’m the life of a party. The cheers, the laughter, the powder and the selfies. Valley girls doing body shots and popping mollies; oh it got pretty crazy. Over the smog and the mirage of North Irvine hills it got me all hazy. 

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Fluffy by Bader Shehab

Nothing has ever felt softer on my weathered skin. It’s a trick, like the inner workings of a wizard’s dream, that something – a lifeless object could be so tender and welcoming. A man made “Mr. Cuddles”,  as it’s written here, would bring me a piece of warmth. In subzero temperatures, a cold frigid nuclear winter and the daily battle between sunlight and fog. This stuffed animal motionless and yet so colorful. My eyes trained for so long on recognizing no more than the grey and black of what’s left of the trees and ghosts. Never seen so many colors concentrated on one matter… “Mother base, there are no signs of any survivors in zone B113.” I reported my last findings to our forward operating station and… I couldn’t take my eyes off this teddy bear – I wanted to bring it back to base for one of the survivors’ children but I could risk contamination. I have never locked eyes with an object for so long. As if they were eyes; two dark and hollow dots of plastic flanking a bear-like nose all wearing a faint smile.

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Sycophant by Bader Shehab

There was that single playing on the Homepod you said it was a hit in the eighties even though we are both children of the nineties. You spent a hundred-dollars of our money, most of it is my hard-earned, on a ‘best hits’ record of 80s various artists. You grew out a ‘fuck off’ handlebar moustache and dressed in hot pink shirts, it made me laugh if anything… The hairspray mullet, thick Ray-Bans, skinny Levis jeans and your lanky physique; let’s just say it stood out very, very well. Then you sold your old KIA for a 1980 Trans Am. You surprised me on my birthday pulling up in the muscle car while blasting Bon Jovi – here, I knew you lost it! And it was all because of that one time I might have said: “I find the eighties interesting…”  Continue reading

Warmth by Bader Shehab

The way your mascara tears ran down your breasts, the line it left behind of charcoal and coffee-black, dried in every pore and curve of your skin. The scent of your perfume mixed with the humid sweat, authenticated by the golden shadow of the sunset hitting the smog-filled window panes. Your Lady Marisol-like demeanor and aristocratic elegance in the ruin of a few rails. Colombia’s finest and bloodiest at the tips of your fingernailsThe 2004 Yamazaki shot glass with your fingerprints still on it, it sits camouflaged with the sun’s dying light fighting what’s to come of the devil’s hours.  Continue reading

Jetlag by Bader Shehab

​“It was like a golden arch when the sun rise came knocking on the door hinges, the windows were dark but when I saw that residue of dust particles hitting the underside of the door – it was spotless yet profound when my eyes tried to follow each dust particle. They kept me awake somehow…” I slammed my fifth shot of moonshine on the counter and the bartender signaled closing time. He held both his arms across his chest while throwing a piece of cleaning cloth over his shoulder. I looked back at Mr. Paul Marrane and there he was examining my every move and the hysteria behind my impulsive heartbreak poetry. Continue reading

Dream by Bader Shehab

This one time my friend Anas and I were hanging out and we decided to try this new Pizzeria place that just opened. I remember ordering a mushroom and margarita, we had it and it was great – so great in fact that we ordered another pie and by the time we were done with that one we were full, stuffed! We then went to the arcade played some games and we both called it a night it was too late to do anything else anyways. But, I remember going home and feeling something funny in my tummy – it was a little bit of an ache followed by dizziness. I tried some herbal tea because I thought it might just be indigestion, but it didn’t do anything. But soon after the tummy pain subsided I felt the dizziness get stronger – and more “spinney”. My head was spinning in circles and I tried sitting on my bed, but I couldn’t find it because the whole floor was going around me in circles. My tongue got heavy couldn’t utter a thing and then I just passed out on my bed – everything went dark…  Continue reading

Mask by Bader Shehab

Kids these days, they just hog their phones all day and can’t even spare a second to say “hello”. I can’t even make eye contact with my kids – bending their necks over their texts, Twitter timelines and pointless YouTube comments. It’s either their phones or their gaming consoles controlling lifeless characters performing auto thefts or murdering hookers. All while their pointless notification feeds load up so that they can check on it and get the dosage of ‘feel good’ Dopamine in their clogged little heads. I want to conversate and have an uninterrupted interaction with my kids again. Most importantly, I want to enjoy a warm meal with them. Which is why I recently introduced the ‘basket policy’, a simple fiber basket I bought on discount from Walmart. Continue reading

Jay by Bader A. Shehab

Hey Cutie,

I’ve been coming here quite often, your cherry Chapstick left a mark on the straw paper you helped pull off for me. I kept a piece of it just to remember you, Jay, the patch on your diner cloth. You’re the cutest girl in this pit and you carry yourself around like you know it. I’d do the same if I were you… I’d like to sit by you on a warm evening at the theater chairs and ignore the hour and a half film to just side gaze at your defined cheek bones and curling episodes of brown-golden hair lines while every once in an occasion you turn to me and catch my eyes.  Continue reading