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Book of Hours Ghazal

Read by Sally Rosen Kindred

Like ushers, telephone-wire crows convene slowly.
Night’s a book of hours into which we lean slowly.

Tent and campfire abandoned, the log smokes its last.
Moonlight mixed with gin drips from a canteen slowly.

What doesn’t break us, conspires to kill. Waiting. Words.
Ink bleeding into a wind that turns mean slowly.

The flame jogs woodenly, struggling to catch. Blood, too,
is a heavy breather that serves its queen slowly.

Guitar strings run the length of my arm like six roads.
Cut the strings! Let these lines learn to keen slowly.

Into the blank margins, the Laugh Guru laughs, as
if the heart could maroon its routine slowly.

Vesper smoke dissolves in an illusion of ease.
Evening invented it. Let night come clean slowly.

Sarah J. Sloat lives in Germany, where she works in news, rides the subway, walks her dog, and raises her two children. Her poems have recently appeared in DMQ Review and Hayden’s Ferry Review, and her chapbook, “Excuse me while I wring this long swim out of my hair,” was published in 2011 by Dancing Girl Press. She blogs at The Rain in My Purse.