Ghazal for the American

by Salli Shepherd

I live on an island, eighteen hours into your future and upside-down.
This gives me special powers — e.g., I can drink vodka upside-down.

Warning: heavy drinking may cause phantoms. Cinematic ones.
In bold American sports cars, burning on highways, upside-down.

But that’s how the dead roll. Like dice, green numbers. Like cats.
Their logic is internal, peculiar — it only appears to be upside-down.

Like a cat, I observe phantoms and I am, at times, caught staring.
In ceiling-corners, the ghosts of spiders dandle upside-down.

And that’s how I roll. Like cars on highways. Empty bottles. Cats.
Eighteen shots makes you a ghost. It turns me upside-down.

I am oft-capsized. Eighteen hours into your future, I am also drunk.
The cat, observing, finds that I no longer have an upside nor a down.


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