When the saints went

By Samiya Bashir 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)

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Poet Samiya Bashir

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals, Social Commentaries, History & Politics

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Samiya  Bashir


Samiya Bashir is the author of Gospel (2009) and Where the Apple Falls (2005), which was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award in Poetry. She is also the author of the chapbooks Wearing Shorts on the First Day of Spring (1999), American Visa (2001), and Teasing Crow (2006). Her poetry, stories, articles and editorial work have been featured in numerous publications most recently including Poetry, World Literature Today, . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals, Social Commentaries, History & Politics

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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