Phayvanh Luekhamhan, Tamiko Beyer, Soham Patel, Bushra Rehman, & Matthew Olzmann

Sunken Garden Exit Ghazal

How to abandon the city you love: kiss the fire escapes and leave
your fingerprints on shop windows, your footprints in the garden.

She says to me there are certain kinds of bees—
physicists say it's impossible for them to fly in the garden.

When you finally lose Neruda's last book,
find it by the river or in the garden.

We'd eaten everything in sight and told all our jokes. You read me a poem
about absent horses and I sighed into the cradle of your garden.

Night. From here—the sound of water over stones.
You are made of fireflies, standing in the garden.

The mirror reflected the scene in reverse:
the cigarette, her body, the brown winter garden.

You take out the garbage.
I'll build you a garden.

Here it is the trees and ticks, the slow drugged bees on their way back again.
The deep ravines lining our palms are meeting in a midnight garden.

The TV turns our room blue. We are a blue room with two windows.
It's almost morning outside—listen to the birds, stirring in the garden.

When poets walk on a night filled with moon, they howl
into bottles, they turn their footsteps into words' garden.

You capture the wasp on our wall & sing it
a lullaby on your way to the garden.

Nothing takes no for an answer. Nothing sings yet.
I am a blossom unfurling in your garden.

A bandage on my hand, a long dirt road behind us, you press
a four-leaf clover into my palm as if to plant a garden.

What was the riddle? A question of lightening,
hawks and ponds, a freshly dug garden.

The spider crawls up the wall.
You give it to the garden.

Turn me into a poem of your nights and days. Eat.
How many lips have touched and worshipped you in this garden?

Here, we are the first clay animals.
Listen to the gates swing shut as we exit the garden.

Lantern Review: A Journal of Asian American Poetry
Issue 1 | June 2010 | pp 69-72