Ghazal for Christian

by RENEE SOTO

A tri-fold screen creates rooms, divides the air. You are hidden. I cannot breathe. Your memory provides the air. Too wet to rake. Leaves clog the drains. Before the rain stopped, the creeks and rivers surged. Detritus is everywhere. A house is not, by default, dark, abandoned, or quiet, but privacy can silence its stories, and the house will hide its flares. In November, Hercules bends a knee to the western horizon. In the sky he faces the dragon. Is any fight fair? Where is the logic of God, nature—when the boy shoots a hole in the floor, then the window, then . . . after he neatly sets his shoes by his chair? In dreams we speak: one of us in a tree, both of us hungry. One: Come back. One: Fill me. Sleep collides with prayer. Uprooted, the garden rosemary traveled by pot in a car. Remember how the backseat smelled—the scent still rides in our hair. A little house on a hill weeps into the incline, Renews the world with its heaving, guides us through despair.

RENEE SOTO lives in Bristol, Rhode Island, where she teaches in the BFA program at Roger Williams University and is the editor of roger, an art & literary magazine. Her poems and reviews have appeared in journals including Crab Orchard Review, The Greensboro Review, Indiana Review, and Post Road.