AGNI Online
  Subscribe      Donate    Stay Connected    Submit      About Us  

Instructional Ghazal

by David Welch

beginning on a line by Misty Harper

1: on lying

You will want to make the corners of the mouth
very dark, so the teeth appear asleep and silent inside the mouth.

2: on breathing

Even coming softly the wind rattles the sills.
The windows whistle a song in parting, like the mouth.

3: on swallowing

Take only the smallest bodies with your tongue: accept
the muscled rules you must maintain inside the mouth.

4: on kissing

I felt your nose like a plum in the dark. Suddenly
I was swimming—unable to breathe or see the mouth.

5: on tying

There are three ways you can teethe and three
knots: the shoelace, the noose, and the mouth.

6: on loving

If his stomach is the surest path to a man’s heart,
you must be sure to take him by the mouth.

7: on closing

In spite of tradition, I’m leaving it open:
[place any name you want in my mouth]


David Welch has poems published or forthcoming in Quarterly West, Pleiades, and Helen Burns Poetry Anthology: New Voices from the Academy of American Poets’ University & College Prizes, 1999–2008. He received his MFA from the University of Alabama and currently lives in Chicago. (9/2009)

End of Article
AGNI Magazine :: published at Boston University ©2008 AGNI