Three Ghazals: an Elegy

by Leah C Scott

1. On a Mountain in Guanajuato

The river was cool, high altitude air and green moss
beneath my hips. Silver stone, silt and clean moss

beneath your palms. You, bowed over me: arco iris
in the wet sun. Your body: of water, of lean moss

thick about thin thighs, aspen bough shoulders, each
tuft soft under limb (ya sabes, the mean moss

that veiled your trunk and rubbed me open). “You will
be a beautiful old woman,” you hissed. “Queen moss.”

And now? I wondered. Pelvis pestled against rock,
I just became dust. Then you dissolved. Had I seen moss

on a dry stone, somewhere in the shade, I’d have lain there
and shrunk til you couldn’t fit, would have hid myself


2. Split from our Chrysalis

Your hair fell like lace, soft knit upon my skin.
When I removed your glasses, your eye skin

resembled a moth’s wing, its lid aflutter open/
closed/open/closed. My eyes met no shy skin,

no hidden inch over your bones. Back blank
and pure as paper. Perfect hands of butterfly skin

grazed my sky in practiced flight, migrated
my meridian to find that hallowed wet—no dry skin

left. And when you left, I dreamed we slept
under a redwood and you hummed a lullaby. Skin

once cocooned your skeleton but you emerged
with wings—I, too. This you and I will die, skin

shed into new form: some different vision
of life, my love, some opaline goodbye skin.

3. The Bitterest Fruit, or Relapse

The winter sent us to separate nests. That shared dream
to stay enmeshed had ruptured—a wound, impaired dream,

hairline fracture in once-strong bone: a deadhead for the tender
bud of home. I watched you pluck its petals. We sang the rhyme

in tune—and now, our shared grammar has split into new
runes. Moons waned and grew before we dared dream

to speak this strange language, this cleft alphabet.

When lilac and columbine finally yawned awake, aired dreamlike
spring’s breath—you led me to your den. We slept. I woke

with your hand on my pelvis. You woke, mouth dense
with blackberries. I plucked one from your tongue. I sucked out

its seeds. You declared through the juice, “I dreamed
that your womb was a blackberry patch. My hand was a bulb

hot as sun.” You fed me one. “What an unfair dream,” I meant
to say. I’d forgotten the words. We knew, anyway, I’d be gone again.

“Oh, weary eyes,” you whispered, soft. “We really were a rare dream.”

Leah C Scott is a writer and editor from the Queen City of the Plains. She spent several years as senior poetry editor of F(r)iction, and has taught writing in the Denver Women’s Correctional Facility. Leah earned her BA from the University of Denver and is currently chasing Spanish fluency across the globe. She’s nearly caught up to it.