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George Franklin

 

Ghazal

At night beneath mosquito netting, we’d lie in the garden—
Beneath my hands and lips your body, a garden within a garden.

By wilted roses, I kissed your breasts and believed I would hear
Nightingales, but there were no birds in the garden.

Even at this hour, you can hear the passing traffic. I listen
For footsteps on the walkway, but who’d visit an empty garden?

There are office buildings and apartments all along the street,
A billboard advertising Japanese motorcycles, parked in a garden.

I look for the oldest man I can find and ask him, “Over there,
Didn’t there used to be a garden?”

He shakes his head, laughs with missing teeth. “You’re confused.
I’ve lived here all my life. There was never a garden.”

About George Franklin

George Franklin practices law in Miami and teaches poetry workshops in Florida state prisons.  His poems have been most recently published in B O D Y, Salamander, Matter, Scalawag, Sheila-Na-Gig, Gulf Stream, The Ghazal Page, Rumble Fish Quarterly, Vending Machine Press, Rascal, and The Wild Word, and translated into Spanish and presented in a dual-language format in Alastor and Nagari.  Poems are forthcoming in Revista Conexos.
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