go

lake splashy and sandy
the gulls are crying
go to her
because
she needs you now

Separated by inches

Pacing at the window while the clock ticks in disbelief
Every hour today is wrap’t up in my irreverent grief.

Pointed fingers say it is my choosing and I take my penance
Our two languages have robbed us of our romance like a thief.

Agendas were voted on and no one else could be deemed errant
Watching twenty years drop one by one like an October leaf.

Outside I hear the robin’s and the bluejay’s raucous discontent
‘Twould be arrogant to view their passing as more than merely brief.

Oh Rose, you have done yourself in by worry’s cunning snares
All your cares now laid upon pillows of music and belief.

**

I dislike epilogues, or explanation of any kind accompanying poetry. But, this poem is a long time coming, and promised to Uma at One Grain Amongst the Storm . I read and enjoy his ghazal poems, a form in which I have wanted to try for some time, with only confidence holding me back. Like the haiku, the ghazal comes with a respected history, of which I would not want to disrespect with poor lines.

All that to say, here is my version of an English Ghazal. Thank you

Kinder

I am in the kitchen writing out my life
Chopin is in the living room, urging me not to quit
the sadness (over breakfast) and a hurried car ride
heavy and burdensome

I don’t care (I said) because of course
I care more than life itself
but if I have to give up my life
in the process (I don’t care)

Then what is the purpose of living
this strangling, overarching plot
that no one would buy
is dancing in my last nerve

So it is like this. That you will
treat me kindly in the future
and I will continue to write my life
both wonderful and terrible, and
this is the contract I bid you sign

He closed like a door
not slammed
the way we hear a warning shot
before the storm
but shut meticulously
carefully
to evoke no more than a soft click
easily missed

It was always the silence that did me in.
I put up with every violation
in a way that no one should
but I never stopped living
until the silence got me

grief in four parts

say what you like
if it makes you feel good
truth is still truth
and no one knows
until they do
but that isn’t what
I wanted to talk about–
it is about grief

I know how it is
how the big gossip
slaps you between the thighs
but you might be wise
to wait until you know
for certain
still that isn’t what
I meant to say today–
it is about forgiveness

you are repeating
yourself now
and I know how
passionate you are
but what if you are wrong
then you will have
to take it back
later
but this isn’t really
what is on my mind
it is about generosity

I remember how we laughed
over espresso and Earl Grey teas
oh please
we never argued then
we were too enthralled
with connections
and sugar packets

but that is breaking the rules
to bring up the past, when
this is really more about
beauty

In the hall

I wait
my breathing shallow
for the footsteps
on the squeaky stair
my lungs feeling empty
rasping
lost my voice to the loud
‘hello’?
mouth dry
like old air
of that last time
in there
memory fail me now
let’s not remember
brain cells, teach
me how to forget
in the hall
outside the door
at the top of the stairs

Look at me

because you don’t see me
anymore

now with my bonnet off
I’ll dance in the rain
or play on the train tracks

foolhardy soul
what losses now

because you don’t see me

the fear is waning
and all bets are off
when it comes down

to
assumptions
conclusions
predictions

and my brave face

because you no longer
see me

each rose
smells that much sweeter
being discovered
and
I take the steps
two at a time
a miracle on this day

as I am still here

when you look through me

I don’t get sad when the fog rolls in
the blanket enveloping me
reminding me of what is real

not your fantasy
with pinpricks and Tabasco sauce
and each day
less and less
I remember what we said

You stopped taking me into account

and I took another look
at my books, but
doing your own accounting
is foolhardy

and takes a cast iron heart

Now that you can’t see me

what was bright like neon
is dull under your spell

your moods like
the ocean

my invisible coat
you bid me wear

big moon
jagged stars
playing riffs in the blackest night

serenading–do you know
what felt like a golden moment
someone wants from me

for a lifetime

your heart

moving
pulsing
still tomorrow
your words something I have grown
too clingy to
hush
don’t criticize

I will be finished soon

Invisible now
the day scares me–
I want to run from it

hush

the night is nearly come
and today relegated to
the history of days