David Sloan

When Lying Is Close to the Truth—A Ghazal
by David Sloan

Night sneaks in like a lover’s whisper: breathless, untrue, close.
You wait at an unlatched window, conjure doors to close.

I can live with lies—they’re how we learn to love ourselves.
When you’ve broken a glass, I know. Keep a broom close.

Recall an unpinned night when stars refused to move?
The only way to find us was a scatter of strewn clothes.

I want to rescue the crippled gull, dangle-legged dancer.
Like you, it edges away, then flies when I get too close.

When I die, scatter my ashes in Algonquin—McIntosh
Lake—where loon, moose, stars come canoe-close.

If heaven leaks light, and trees are crooked truths,
I choose the only place where forbidden fruit’s close.

Don’t tell beloved about lonely gods sobbing in your arms.
Keep the divine unreachable; just you lying, you, close.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 20, Issue 3.

David SloanA graduate of the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast MFA Poetry Program, David Sloan teaches at Maine Coast Waldorf High School in Freeport. His debut poetry collection—The Irresistible In-Between—was published by Deerbrook Editions in 2013. He received the 2012 Betsy Sholl Award, Maine Literary awards in 2012 and 2016, The Margaret F. Tripp Poetry Award, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He is currently enjoying life’s latest delight—grandfatherhood!

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