When he inhabits my thoughts (every one of them) mix a drink, will you?
Hold the memories, empty the dregs of pain laced with passion, will you?
My fingers on the spine of the journal of our days by the sea, the paper breathes,
mark out the day he kissed his girl under the moon as the tide rose high, will you?
I push my dark hair behind the ears, look hard till I squint and tears sear –
that’s how you conjure forgotten days and lost love, learn this will you?
Spare the tears of pain and curses that take the breath away from life,
light an aroma candle, let the night in, daub me with jasmine oil, will you?
The agate on my wrist that he gave is a crimson lake of sunlight,
look into my pool of eyes and find him drowned there, will you?
He nearly killed me once when he held me close so close,
I held my breath like an underwater diver but will you
bar him from my room when he comes at the dead of night?
When curtains dance in the breeze from the sea let him in, will you?
Rachel McKibbens tells “…write down something you do well…. Write three rules you live by… They can be anything: don’t flat iron wet hair. Don’t kiss with your eyes open … List three things that could have destroyed you, but didn’t. Alright. You have a lot of options here. This can be an instructions poem. This can be a praise poem. This can be a wicked ghazal or a message in a bottle buried in your backyard.”
I began writing a ghazal for this prompt. In some ways the poem is to the prompt, but in many ways the poem remains loyal to the essence of ghazal that I have grown up with: poetry and music of Ghulam Ali that I adore. So let us stop searching too hard for the elements from the prompt, but listen to this as we read the poem: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8V13_Bw8JA
Ghazal as a form is ancient, originating in 6th century Arabic Verse and has been adopted in various languages since then. In English a ghazal is written in couplets where the first couplet rhymes, the second line of the rest of the couplets rhymes with the second line of the first couplet. Very often the last few words get repeated like a refrain.