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Ghazal of the Elegant Skull

Safe in your death, your skull inside your grave,
your dreams are blooms now; they colonize your grave.

Like moss on stones or rain on mud I’ve tried
to sing to you. Your name elides your grave

with what’s alive: feast for the eyes—
acres of yellow marigolds disguise your grave.

I loved you when you died. I still love you;
though, like a vine, my roots divide your grave—

however many lovers gather in that shade,
in every face I recognize your grave.

I caught your specter haunting your old letters.
Tell me, what script will dramatize your grave?

When you were warm, and funny, and all mine,
we moved in ways that would surprise your grave.

I liked to watch you run. Now I am no one’s.
In June, the dark Atlantic amplifies your grave,

and I grow older, like a gray-eyed monk
who lays her ragged bones beside your grave.

Your eyes were blue. Your illness made you punk.
With love and drugs, we tried to bribe your grave.

Night descends, and shadows alter bands of azure
ultraviolet. What lights the skies? Your grave.

Magdalene bent low and peered into the tomb:
two wound-displacing angels belied your grave.

Then what are you? You’re what moves, and you
are everything but what’s inside your grave.

Say Katy loved and was loved, and safe in that
unchanging fact, she’ll glorify her grave.