Megan Falley – IN MY FIRST ATTEMPT AT A GHAZAL I SAY THE ONE THING I NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD

The last thing I expected to write was thank you.My fingers cocked for hate’s hot heat, and all I could do was thank you.

I will never have my bones licked clean again. I can
spot a predator from a jungle away. I am a lioness now. Thank you.

I know that Evil rarely looks homeless. I know it wears the sharpest
suit, spit-shines its own shoes, says thank you,

you’re welcome, and please when it meets your parents. Arrives
a foreign dinner guest, leaves a son-in-law. Mothers thank you

for the wine and the circus of laughter. But now I know how a man can turn
like a coin. How he can duct-tape your mouth and then thank you

for not disagreeing. But the fever of you
was so bad, I’d never kiss your brothers. Thank you.

I will never again let anyone make me small. I am bigger
than any lie you could decorate. I know who my friends are. Thank you

for throwing that severed foot into the middle of a crowd.
Naming it Crazy. Bruja. Most scattered like rodents, thanked you

for the warning. Pretended the foot was a ghost. But some carried the foot
until they found the leg it belonged to. Helped her stand. To them I say thank you

every chance I get. I thank them by never going back. By not forgiving.
Someday I will raise an army of daughters. Thank you,

they will not have your face. Your carnivorous heart.
Every night they will crawl into their father’s lap and say thank you

for loving our mother. For the lilacs in the kitchen, which are only
lilacs. Not reminders of your purpled fistprints. Not a thank you

for not calling the police. You taught me what love is
not—that’s how I learned what it is. Your absolute opposite. Thank you.

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happy birthday

Welcome to the new world

And if I was to say that I really, really wanted to get to know you,
it would just be an understatement:
Me, I want to pour your thoughts into a wine glass
and sip them slow with a straw like I’m on vacation;
I want to light candles and bathe for hours in secrets that you’ve just never had the courage
to say out loud—
I’m ready.
I’m ready to grab onto your dreams and jump in a pool head first just to see if
hope still floats—I want to float next to you.
I’m talking like, ten feet above cumulus clouds
so no one can ever rain on our parade.

-Rudy Francisco