Jamie Bradley

Three Ghazals

I dig a hole in the earth
to rival the sky; anti-grief.

The children hum notes
of remembrance, the world outside.

Grief, he says, is a bird
made out of hair; proud, useless.

The salvia black spoke of her eye,
the limit to theater, to un-theater.

You are growing huge, the spirit
of animals, of two surgeries at once.

The winter dreams its way
into the fall's other death.

The mulch drops
as the ladder sinks, the child-king.

Is there another creature so far
from prayer when it sleeps?

Saturation. The language of crisis
in blips, in long fingers.

If only my bald name is tossed
into the river, open-mouthed.

Grief, life come again,
is a wearer out of souls.

Into the snow, the ambulance
is dashed to pieces.

The air is Mexican wire,

The perfume pools
at her breasts, evaporates.

Unstable, smoke in a pipe
is something else, or gone.

Jamie Bradley's poetry has appeared most recently or is forthcoming in Rattle, Poetry is Dead and Ottawater. His chapbooks include Compositions (Angel House Press, 2008) and the collaborative anthology Dalhousie Blues (Ex-hubris, 2009), with Christine McNair, Sean Moreland and Caleb JW Brassett. He is an instructor in English at the University of Ottawa.
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