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)