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Image by Victoria Chen


the madrigal, volume iv

Unguarded Ghazal

by j-t kelly

Let me not refuse to love but leave my heart — now of love bereft — unguarded
Like the little ones who against the evils of this world are left unguarded

Let me walk with people who look like trees — without my wooden mask
Like the moon who shines — though cratered by the night’s every clumsy gift — unguarded

Let my pantries have no keys, no locks, to keep them safe from plunder
Like the persimmon tree whose persimmons remain — theft after theft — unguarded

Let me carry all who fling themselves on me with all their troubles
Like the sea whose strong currents are always— wherever they may drift — unguarded

Let me declare my names — John the beloved, Thomas who doubts — to
God who loves me, who leaves me — like himself — from betrayal’s deep cleft unguarded

J-T Kelly is an innkeeper in Indianapolis, Indiana. He lives in a brick house with his wife and five children, his two parents, and a dog.

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