Printer Friendly

Apophatic Ghazal.

Apophatic Ghazal

   I have written this poem and made it sound worse than it was. Then
      better. I have put
   in a gun. I have written it out again. I have made myself say no

   when I didn't. I have tried to write why I didn't say no when I
      could have.
   I have tried to explain the back of my neck, that feeling, when
      you know

   something bad is about to happen, that animal revolt. Once, I felt
      a rattlesnake. I
   mean I felt before I saw. I mean my body told me. But back to that
      night. No

   other way it could have gone, or so it seems now. It seemed
      different then. The
   restaurant, white tablecloth, rack of lamb, quiet loud as
      velvet, no

   prices on the menu. His house just down the street. I went there
      with him. Which
   is what I'm supposed to say now, the thing I did that I should not

   have done. Only when he closed the door behind us, my body spoke.
   Reminding me of--what? The back of my neck. Not

   here, I told my body, meaning, wait till I'm alone to talk like
      that.
   And it listened. Years of attrition trained my body to wait, to
      stop, no

   argument. I stayed in my chair. I never said the secret. His tongue
      was a fish.
   His tongue was a fish in my mouth, heavy wet muscle. I said nothing

   when he splashed whiskey into the crystal glass. That's my father,
      he said. Pointing.
   On the wall, old gold frames, photographs, the flag, I said nothing

   although I knew the face from the newspaper I said nothing. I
      thought. The door
   (oak) locked. The walls (stone) thick. My throat was taught not

   to shout in a quiet place, and when it was time, I found it could
      not.
   Would not. Later, I had to forgive my throat. What you think
      happened did not

   happen. Instead, a sound, a shot, a car backfiring.
   He looked up. I fought to my feet, the floor, the door. I never
      said no

   but my whole body meant it. He could hear the sound outside but not
   my body. Never said no. There is the law. And then there is
      something better.
COPYRIGHT 2019 Witness
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2019 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Stid, Sophia
Publication:Witness
Article Type:Poem
Date:Mar 22, 2019
Words:375
Previous Article:The Definition.
Next Article:lump.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2020 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters