Broken Ghazal


The green sea turns silver, then black.
It is a night for carnivals & women in white dresses,

for children to comb gray hair,
for gray men to walk barefoot into the sea.

I am daydreaming,
or I am about to be daydreaming.

My heart is as wild as the Book of Daniel.

(I tame lions back into their cages,
then leave their cages unlocked.)

When one song ends the tambourine
settles onto the end of my tongue,

& my body becomes a twelve-string guitar.

Am I in tune?

I should try this again.

The sky is a green sea.
Its eyes turn silver, then black.

When the carnival leaves town
I remain where I have always been,

standing in an empty field
beside a woman in a white dress,

combing her gray hair as we grow young again.

From Issue 7

KAREM TAYYAR’s most recent book is Let Us Now Praise Ordinary Things (Arroyo Seco), and he is a recipient of a 2019 Wurlitzer Poetry Fellowship. His novel, The Prince of Orange County (Pelekinesis), received the 2020 Eric Hoffer Award for Young Adult fiction.

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