Ghazal at the rally

This clench of signs has drawn a forest in the air:
Do I dare put down my peach, raise my fist in the air?

These inverse exclamation points, Times Bold,
Invite me to finish the phrase or just twist in the air.

Mikado at heaven’s gate frowns down at the crowd,
Marks “X.” They’ll none of them be missed in the air.

What is a fist not raised? Like Frost said of free verse,
It’s a beatless, no-rhyme net un-tennised in the air.

My daughter asks me, what shall I dream?
No justice, no sheep: that’s the gist in the air.

I count all the reasons I can’t join the march tonight:
Five practical fingers cut off, bloody wrist in the air.

Did you think I was talking about my life?
I was trying to herd fragments, make words enlist in the air.

Amidst fond caresses, I still think of the hashtagged men,
A conflagration devoutly to be wished in the air.

Some say I Twit the Battle of Jericho—
Nice poem, bud. Those walls still exist in the air.

Annette Lemieux (b. 1957), Left Right Left Right, 1995. Photo lithographs and pine poles, dimensions variable. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase with funds from the Print Committee 2001.176a–dd

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