Ghazal to the Octopus
I shall meet you in the public square, unarmed.
I shall lay down my guns with my bare arms.
I swim near the octopus in the September sun, no bones and no past, and
ache for his thousand suckers and sweetness, the grasp of his arms.
A birth-fresh baby snorts out blood, and unaware of where warmth
comes from, pushes her nose past my elbow to my underarm.
Before the mother bird breaks the shell with her beak, the father preens
her feathers, holds her bodice and cradles her tender heart in armistice.
How can I feel for you in the night, the sheets following your
left, then right legs, when you keep me at arm’s length?
I try to tap into the spider, but he wears his shield well,
preferring, in the face of affection, his armature.
I put on the wedding dress in the tailor’s closet, where I am
mirrored four times: eight legs, four hearts, eight arms.
• • • • • • • •
My Poem Against the War
Out of a dream, I woke
to your touch, last
night; right hand on the
twelve, left on my
breast, near my heart.
I could not stop the bombs
in my ears, the sight
blooming in my
blinking night vision.
© miriam hall