Love in the Time of Elsinore; A Ghazal

Gabrielle Cole

Gabrielle Cole is a student and writer studying English literature at McGill University. She enjoys books about female ennui, movies about anything, and iced caramel macchiatos. You can find her on Twitter @lovelieswaiting, or at

Somewhere there exists a meaningful silence.

These castle walls hold a fateful silence.


Eyes meet across the great hall;

there is beauty in hopeful silence.


Mouths full of sweet, sweet breath;

a confession of love, then: wistful silence.


A parting kiss on the forehead and

with it, a sorrowful silence.


The water lies as still as a body;

plucked flowers float in careful silence.


Elsewhere—the air is thick with futile vengeance;

shrouded thorns bristle in resentful silence.


Understanding that all that lives must die;

daggers are coated with sinful silence.


O dear Ophelia, we’ve been dead since we woke up,

God be wi’ you—the rest is silence.

Photograph by Naihan Nath.