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Holly Jensen

Brett Butler Ghazal

Wait for two men who won’t come back — Daddy and Jesus Christ —
till you’re the fearful love and chaos within Jesus Christ.

Her hair controls the weather. She lets the credit go to
jet streams, sun spots, Indra, Mother Nature, and Jesus Christ.

With the shrill thrill of a child unbound, she knew she did
not make Him leave and is not indebted to Jesus Christ.

A rough day’s work deserves rest. Who needs eternities of
small talk with Idris, Abraham, Sarah, and Jesus Christ?

Pray god to be desired, then hope to survive it with
your iconic pose aped like Marilyn or Jesus Christ.

My hoody’s my white-girl hijab, but one billion Muslims
minding their own get heckled in the name of Jesus Christ.

This echo is as close as he will come to returning.
This echo is your last chance to be grazed by Jesus Christ.

Off Route 3, the churchyard’s marquee reads in mismatched letters:
We have your salvation. A ransom note from Jesus Christ?

Though he is gone, there is more of him in the world than there
is of the living. And no, I do not mean Jesus Christ.

Confounded by Zimbabwe’s deft minds, they christened digs lost
holy sites. What do we misattribute to Jesus Christ?

Money is no object, but surely it’s the subject. I
care more about my gardens than gardener, Jesus. Christ.

The twelve-year-old speaks and lives in tongues, and no body burns
with lust as justified as her passion for Jesus Christ.

In Hollywood, Rhett Butler’s graceful nihilism reigns. Frankly, baby doll,
you don’t give a damn about me but neither does Jesus Christ.

Paul Mooney Ghazal

To gawk at the exotic I don’t need a sci-fi alien.
I bask in the warmth of your shadow, because you my alien.

She threw me my keys and said, Don’t shower here. White girls smell like wet dog.
Even if we’d been twins, she and I would still live and die alien.

The town creeps about and contains us, preserves us in stationary air.
We don’t even feel how we’ve been congealed into the anti-alien.

Light-years of evolution reveal little, drab men with busy hands?
We gaze into a tilted mirror and always ape-ify aliens.

How dare you feel at home here? Friend, our ground’s far too hard for new roots.
Documents or no, you’ll never not be classified Alien.

We find conquered stars monotonous and space’s silence suffocating.
Glowering in lonely lunar diners, we reek of deep-fried alien.

Poach imported poetry, hauling Guide to the Wild Ghazal
and rifle, appallingly eager to covet and gentrify “alien.”

Joan Rivers Ghazal

All night she coos, Lover, I’m lonely. She bellows at dawn, Staff, I’m lonely,
then scribbles, in place of an autograph, I’m lonely, I’m lonely, I’m lonely.

The spotlight’s the sun through a magnifying glass, the crowd roars it can’t
hear above the roar of the crowd, and the punch line falls to Falstaff: I’m lonely.

You ran from the earthquake into my arms as I was one lost trinket
you could recover. The wheat called out to the chaff, I’m lonely.

My dress is for undressing, and these heels weren’t made for
walking. With luck, my ensemble will telegraph I’m lonely.

Hermits can’t save face with themselves after admitting,
in the ultimate anti-social gaffe, I’m lonely.

Bull to cow — Grow your own friends.
Cow to calf — I’m lonely.

You can’t deny Time — that brat — anything.
He whines, Whenever you laugh I’m lonely.

I will scrutinize myself with a scalpel until
each scar screams on my behalf, I’m lonely.

Ancient bottles wash up on river’s edge.
Holograph after holograph: I’m lonely.

About Holly Jensen

HOLLY JENSEN’s work has appeared or is upcoming in Pank Magazine, the minnesota review, and The Midwest Quarterly. Her traditional and free ghazals have appeared in Kestrel, Tilt-a-Whirl, Clockwise Cat, 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.

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