PROJECT GHAZAL

Holly Jensen

Although money is no object,
it’s most certainly the subject. 

Let’s dissect love, the sermon starts.
Let’s not! the lovers interject. 

Let’s just say he’s a work of art.
Famed and framed. Abstract and abject. 

For addicts, loyalty extends
only to the drugs they inject. 

Another term for the Other,
another label to reject. 

Rejected lovers need a court
where they can appeal and object. 

She has to axe certain tethers
before she can astral project. 

Before Holly can fall asleep,
she must finish this last project.

 

FORGIVENESS GHAZAL

Holly Jensen

Medusa may beg the mirror for forgiveness,
but she’ll still kill, as death cements forgiveness. 

Days are lists of all that cannot replace you.
The living uselessly grant their forgiveness. 

Death seeps through the ceiling of my father’s house.
As startling? Sudden downpours of forgiveness. 

Overuse leads to depreciation, thus
the economics of hoarding forgiveness. 

He treats rental cars sweeter than his own, so
amore, armor yourself with worn forgiveness. 

The clock’s din dims. I measure time lash by lash.
Don’t rush my penitence with rash forgiveness. 

Budding Buddha reads the news, too, however
great souls perform alchemy with forgiveness. 

The truth, just like life, is simple and ugly:
some acts cannot — and must not — earn forgiveness. 

The dog raises a leg to tangles of holly
untroubled by the tic of forgiveness. 

 

CAN'T PROTECT YOU GHAZAL

Holly Jensen

Adam, spinning sinning as a skill can’t protect you,
just as once again blaming freewill can’t protect You. 

To my surprise, I found your tears looked just like my own.
Your mountain fortress, once a molehill, can’t protect you. 

Inertia beckons fresh romance lazily. Although
it lingers like smoke, half-recalled thrill can’t protect you. 

Sweet, if left in the rain, you’d dissolve like rock candy.
The sheer canopy of my love still can’t protect you. 

When the waiter/singer shows you his studio/cave,
even the soothing, auto-tuned trill can’t protect you. 

Everything I thought about him was about me.
How else do you learn a sugar pill can’t protect you? 

Holly, the tornadoes have become heat-seeking,
which means this time, hiding downhill can’t protect you.

 

HOLLY JENSEN’s work has appeared or is upcoming in Pank Magazine, The Midwest Quarterly, and Pear Noir! Her traditional and free ghazals have appeared in Kestrel, Tilt-a-Whirl, Damazine, and elsewhere. She first fell in love with Jim Harrison’s bawdy, tender free ghazals over 10 years ago. She calls Cleveland, Ohio home. She is now the editor of The Ghazal PageSend her your ghazals.