Art by Nick Stephens
Art by Nick Stephens

Beginning Ghazal

by Jake Balser

I took two steps towards being freed here,

swore up and down that I would give heed here.

I made up my mind—the one you made for me.

Yes, my conscience feels guilty . . . but how do I plead here?

I once meant so much before I woke up.

Now I cry from my knees, knowing not what I need here.

You said what I do means the world to you:

“choice makes the man”–to this I agreed here.

But you weren’t around when the choice needed making;

what’s done is done and you can’t intercede here.

The blood in my veins is drowning me now.

Your voice cuts my panic–“it’s all right to bleed here.”

Jake Balser was born and raised in Orem, Utah and is the second oldest of six children. He is a Junior at BYU and is currently double-majoring in English and Russian Studies. In his free time he enjoys doing yard work, riding his motorcycle, trying to grow a beard, and writing.