The Moral Kicks In

Peter Twal

& after the first course, your corsage      flatlines Beautiful      convulsions Then, it sprouts wings, thorns, claws      its way up
your arm to swallow you goosebump     by goosebump There is a moment when resurrection      betrays even the most devout

heart, devours it So blue,      the ink pen veins blown up behind my eyes, I'm beaten Me, the patron saint of stifling anger over the ice
in my highball when I really did mean rocks      Patron saint of politely melting into this tomato      soup a spoonful at a time,
my littlest selves disappearing into my pool, divers, not a drop      out of place This is that moment when you open the fridge door
to scavenge for leftovers but all you get is       bass, when the bleeding eventually becomes      unseemly— once a constellation, little

red stars, now just a saturated sky      & we speak      in fortune cookie all night Our eyes erratic behind their lids, legs trashing under
the covers, a face smothered in pillow The next dish, a ventilator An IV      dripping into something      already dead I order

two specials to make the pain remind you of someone, ask them to sign that knife      wound today Rivulet of the body, your tongue
wriggles out from the baby's breath to respond were we ever anything more than      echolocation My cellophane skin running all over the table runner Are we ever not living      in the blast radius of someone else's internal       organs Underneath the table, I'm
scooping my kidneys, liver, lungs, back      into my chesthole      How to keep you watered, alive, an ear, all that's left leaning

into the nearest sun beam It's a different moment, fingers sutured into stomach, puddling on my way to the restroom My mind's tail,
trail of dust & flame Me, patron saint of the meteor that falls from the sky, easily      forgotten, eventually       extinguished