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Ghazal: Signs
Tiffany Eberle Kriner (bio)

Words mean too much to you, she said. It’s all a sign.
Nothing she’s ever told me felt more like a sign.

After the rally on the square, she begged the trash.
“Can I keep them? An artist could use these signs.”

God, the words are blooming like algae, like tumors.
They’ve forgotten how to die. They will not resign.

“We wanted to listen, to follow, to align,”
read the form.“But we’d never read what you assign.”

He swooped down the zip line, flashing flight, insight.
A sick thwack. His form smacks fate’s ladder. Not one vital sign.

As a child, she played Azaz, the king of letters—
Satin costume hot glued with letters—mother’s design.

Fifth beer, texting from the lonely admiral’s club.
He thinks of the oven bird. Singing, he won’t sing.

Your finger wondered over the edge of my scar:
I had cancer. Survived. My whole body’s a sign.

The teacher told her, “Work to relax your line.
You make too many points—always, graphing cosine.

What if my name means “manifestation of God”?
God? Holy Trinity? I need a book. A sign.

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