A Poetry Sporadical of Repeating Forms

Ghazal: In the Dark

Peter Swanson

Begin the sheltering film. Begin the dark.
Let faces big as moonscapes spin the dark.

Let zithers tell me where to cast my eye.
Let angles tell me when to summon the dark.

Look at the ruined city and study the steeple.
See how the lamplight wears thin the dark.

Let the murderers be beautiful
in their own way. Don’t reason the dark.

And the beautiful, sad as faded photographs:
The shallows of their eyes win the dark.

The language of the dead is never enough
but words are sharp and sometimes skin the dark.

All movie screens are haunted by horizons.
Feel free to close your eyes but only when the dark

has had its say. Real life is for the naked lights.
Not for you,
nor me,
nor our forest in the dark.

Peter Swanson,’s poems, stories and reviews have appeared in such journals as The Atlantic, Asimov’s Science Fiction, The Cortland Review, Measure, and Yankee Magazine. He has earned degrees in Creative Writing, Education, and Literature from Trinity College, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Emerson College. He lives with his wife and cat in Somerville, Massachusetts, and is currently completing a sonnet sequence on all 53 feature films directed by Alfred Hitchcock.


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