Prayer Rug Ghazal

By Jeanine Stevens

Evening. I knew there would be dark hawks

crowding that dream instead of rosy doves.


Harmonious, yet pitiless dawn roused us

to splintered treetops. Sticky sap vertigo.


Giant ice from eves at Emigrant Gap grew upside

down from heaven. From the mailbox, a returned letter.


She practiced walking in the river, tried uniform

stones of different sizes, ripped pockets from her jacket.


The animal in the road had been there for some time,

appeared to be sleeping and looked like a prayer rug.


Jeanine Stevens studied poetry at U.C. Davis, and has an M.A. in Anthropology. Winner of the MacGuffin Poet Hunt and one of two finalists for the William Stafford Prize. Author of Sailing on Milkweed, her latest chapbook is “Needle in the Sea,” from Tiger’s Eye Press. Poems have appeared in Poet LoreEvansville ReviewPearlNorth Dakota ReviewPerfume RiverAlehouse and Quercus Review.

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