Arsenic Lobster poetry journal Issue Forty-two
Winter 2016
Love 101 ~ a ghazal
Ann Howells

Tremors shivering dirt became sounds flying through air.
Sometimes words just slipped away in cracks and crevices.

I heard a lawn mower rev, choke, whirr, then shut down.
A dog howled piteously. Door slammed. Brakes squealed.

A blue jay landed on the fence, looked at us, flew off.
Someone in a backyard down the block was grilling beef.

Back when I was moonlight, earth strummed tall grasses.
I avoided the downward glare of a stained-glass Jesus.

You caught my heart off guard, split it open, a pomegranate.
I grew to know you through my mouth, my nose and fingers.

                                 *            *            *

Now fur-bottomed honey bees abandon backyard blossom.
Plums taste bitter, and smell of summer cucumbers vanishes.

Sycamores and maples blow their cold November breath.
Leaves like the hands of babies frantically wave goodbye.

Night holds too much dark unknown—this world, next.
Lightning bugs in cupped hands cannot light my way.

I burned like a star, though well I knew their fiery ends.
You were the grit inside my shell that produced a pearl.

When you speak of me don’t lie, but don’t tell everything.
Just my luck to ripen in your ravenous October mouth.

About Ann Howells

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