"Ghazal" by Forrest Nguyen

Ghazals, you know them; this one ends “otherwise.”
But how to surprise you, except every line were otherwise?
rain in june and i'm without an umbrella. 
somewhere someone drier is wishing he were otherwise.
school. i do not love it: a talent show for sycophants.
i did the math, i did the reading, but writing i did otherwise.

A riddle in adverbs: Regardless. Notwithstanding. Elsewhere.
Answer: Youth. — Or were you expecting otherwise?
“Orpheus, do you have any regrets?”
“Looking back… Could I have done otherwise?”
my father was a carpenter. and his father was a carpenter.
i say to these hands, Why do we insist otherwise?
as life’s other lessons grow less appealing, remember:
indecision’s not a sin. provided you do otherwise.
—and not just metaphors but actually moonflowers;
stilly, then suddenly, then all at once, otherwise.
the grass needs mowing, and i’m building skyscrapers.
The boy and the metaphor sat at the desk, writing.
Wistful ghazals, strutting overmuch: the one, Forrest; the other, Wise.