Ghazal: The Wall

I wake, my neighbors’ moans
+++echoing through the wall.
Love, talking to you was
+++like talking to the wall.

Camelot when Khrushchev
+++dropped The Iron Curtain.
Raygun when Mr. Gorbachev
+++withdrew The Wall.

The failed assassin turned
+++to face the firing squad,
saluted and snapped to,
+++ramrod back to the wall.

“As he shut the door”
+++Nick “saw Ole Andreson”
lying on the bed, still
+++dressed, his face to the wall.

My mother’s cousin
+++went to ‘Nam in ’68.
I felt his name, Rosario,
+++etched into The Wall.

Roy Chapman Andrews & Co.
+++cruise The Flaming Cliffs,
missing links on wheels
+++scouting bones fused to the wall.

Nazim, Martin Luther, Paul
+++and Nelson, holy jail birds.
You saw the promised man,
+++your only view the wall.

The vanquished tear their hair,
+++wail for God’s vengeance.
Does God buy the promises
+++that imbue The Wall?

Here he comes. The great
+++man, Mr. Visionary.
Once more Humpty Dumpty
+++takes the stage. Cue the wall.

Them and us? Only the
+++dead are blameless, Amos.
For the rest of us, let your
+++Plumb Line true the wall.

Why not get married? you
+++said. So what did I do?
Instead of a diamond,
+++I gave you the wall.

I lie in wait for the
+++“wounded gazelle tonight.”
So Shahid, how does one
+++say in Urdu “the wall”?

Clever slave, so you think
+++you’ve mastered your master?
Be careful, Eugene.
+++Real Ghazals go to the wall.

Eugene A. Melino

First published in Contemporary Ghazals No.6, Winter 2016.
Published online in Poetry in Form, June 5, 2017.

Image: “The Wall” / Photo by Mike Kniec, Aug. 23, 2014. Licensed under CC BY 2.0.