Postmortem Ghazal
by Olivia Comm

Runestone, volume 3

Postmortem Ghazal

Yesterday, I watched a bird fumble with a leaf for an hour, not moving.
Its beak cranked up and down and up and down for days, always moving.

I walked past a meager man and your scent exploded from my cells.
It spun me around and took me away in hurricane winds, dragging, moving.

Swans, bald eagles, penguins, I hear they mate for their whole lives,
cemented together like sidewalk blocks though they’re constantly, forever moving.

Yesterday (maybe?) you were inside me and now you’re gone. But your feel
still lingers on my skin and awakens, when I think it has settled, again moving.

They say a watched pot, a stared-at pot, helicopter watched pot, will never boil.
And a watched grave won’t creak and snap open nails, the top never moving.

Memories play the game but I don’t think they play it very fair,
they ride in an opened-door train car that is slowly moving.

Bed sheets get heavier the longer you are under them, cotton hardens to slate.
In bed, sometimes I think I hear your footsteps but it’s only the settling house moving.

Me, the time bomb. I think it was yesterday that burnt chicken tenders made me cry.
They tell me I need to stop, get up, move on, but my broken legs won’t start moving.

In the greyest of dewy spring mornings I can whisper to my coffee cup this too shall pass,
but I don’t think time can heal losing my other half. Anyways, I think time’s stopped moving.


University of Virginia

Olivia Comm is a third year student majoring in media studies and minoring in drama. A chance encounter with a poetry course her first year led her to a new love of poetry writing. In addition to poetry, she writes plays and short stories. Her first play will be performed at UVA in the spring. This is her first publication of poetry.

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