Hiding from the zombie horde, we shiver in terrible anticipation
Of the cold clinging touch of strangers, friends, lovers, already taken
Scheming flight, we long to be found, devoured, delivered from ourselves.

One hundred miles of death per hour keen the jaded ear
So sharply made alive in shadows of swerves, brakes, moments
Silence looms in whirring asphalt, blank eternity underfoot.

One more needle, same old vein, throbbing to release its affliction
The numbing toxin bleeds inward, carelessly measured dose of death
Addiction poised eagerly on the brink of eternal surcease.

The slave girl climbs the pyre —her dead master's dragon ship;
With torches lit her lovers watch, the strangler's cord awaits
Her tender neck, to silence the voice that proclaimed "I will".

Living blood of victory guides the Zero's joystick
Flowing on Divine wind of retribution, despair, glory
Wanton proof of loyalty, courage, manhood, virtue.

To forget the weight of past and future, what must and cannot be forgotten
To jump the tracks, break the chain, seize the fleeting reins of guilt and power
A taut atonement for living too long, for ramified weights of memory and pain.

Every living form is tangled, tainted, burdened, earthbound
Wisdom ponders austere beauty in absolute withdrawal, departure;
Beyond the edge of matter glimpses escape, moksha, purity, peace.

A flame of agony sears perfection of soul into Nirvana's flesh—
To be the martyr vindicated, absolved, sanctified, redeemed
To feel cold nails hammered through bones, flesh, blood sacrifice.

With longing gaze I search the Abyss, anticipating in return
That Vacuum behind the cold slitted viper's annihilating eye
Completing within its empty stare the finality of release.


Alexander Tokarev discovered the Ghazal form through one of his favorite ex-girlfriends. He is better at reading poetry than writing it and doesn't know three words of Russian.