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By Samiya Bashir

what remained: barren stalks bowing heads

by the field-full. rusty air conditioners dripping

from warped windowsills. rock formations retaining roots.


hollowed out caves and dog stumps forced ragged, toothy grins.

all ablaze. a laser show shot hot through the tinny night. every husk

wore a well lit protrusion. every breath an asthmatic thrush more material


than the silence that surrounds each carcass now: voided prayer: cold

arthritic grating: remembering notions of breath. saints: offer a hand to a

wheezing shadow: wish for someone to hold before the sure, sudden twilight.


Samiya Bashir, “When the saints went” from Gospel. Copyright © 2009 by Samiya Bashir. Reprinted by permission of RedBone Press.

Source: Gospel (RedBone Press, 2009)

  • Nature
  • Social Commentaries

Poet Bio

Samiya Bashir
Samiya Bashir earned a BA from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MFA from the University of Michigan. Formerly a communications professional focused on editorial, arts, and social justice movement building, Bashir is a founding organizer of Fire & Ink, an advocacy organization and writer’s festival for LGBT writers of African descent. Bashir is the recipient of numerous awards, grants, fellowships, and residencies, and she was a recipient of the 2011 Aquarius Press Legacy Award, given annually in recognition of women writers of color who actively provide creative opportunities for other writers. Bashir currently lives in Portland, Oregon, where she teaches creative writing at Reed College. See More By This Poet

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