Samiya Bashir

RITUAL WHERE THE PARTICLE MEETS THE WAVE

Pops bailed the basement with box-store towels with pots with pans. Kidfeet creaked up stairs to dump sop then tromped back down for more. Again. News: climate folks warn of these more frequent storms. My debit card’s magnet was shot last year. I wanted to replace it. Really. The bank lived just up the road but I just couldn’t. Things go awry and mostly I just let them. I worry. I wait for pops to slip in all that water, but he doesn’t. And the kidfeet keep the march up. The descent. Again. Return his flood to the bloated earth.



QUANTUM MIND HYPOTHESIS

I’ll ask you to name something
blue and maybe you’ll say:
popsicle tongue and I’ll
say: broken finger.

Black eye and I knew I’d
love you
because you
went to the body like —

In the movie, Mickey said
he was the kind of boxer
who took every hit given
and still stood like —

We were children
when we saw that film
whose writer fought
to make it himself like —

Name something blue:

it’ll be easy enough
for you to say: you
but don’t.


TWO MORMON MISSIONARIES RODE PAST ON BICYCLES

and just then I met a man who wears his obsolete wedding
band to each first date. He bought a round of drinks.

People struggle, Russ says, before he does the bird: one leg
kicked up, both wings flapping.

When my body becomes too solid I can always ghost. Hotel
bar champagne, for instance, augers my native lake ice.

Even then my knees still hurt when I walk. But they hurt like
cumulonimbus — its inhale — before its inevitable sneeze.



Samiya Bashir, author of Gospel, finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and Where the Apple Falls, both finalists for the Lambda Literary Award, teaches creative writing at Reed College.