St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City

by Khaleel Gheba


All there is to do is to say it
confused, say it ugly to not-there-ness,
because that’s what I need sometimes:

talk with waiting, silence, and void.
An old man in an old place brings me
to conclusions. Like your tidiness

in talk and touch, or how you
never figured out spaghetti and
salt, or how a broken string

made you cry just the once, or
that verse: we should, I should
have done more. But you, you are,

oh well. Now, total rebellion.
This unalterable thing of myself
thrumming in a stone palace. See

how I can’t shake this sentimental
spirit, its bullshit father or son of
rage. See how I can be ever so still.

KHALEEL GHEBA received his MFA in Poetry from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2014. His work has appeared in DIAGRAM, Redivider, Bayou Magazine, Cleaver Magazine, and elsewhere. He currently lives in Maryland, where he works as a librarian.