Carnot Cycle

By Samiya Bashir Samiya Bashir
Only sometimes does homegrown bedrock glow moneygreen.
     Sometimes rock whines mommy. Sometimes rock coos baby.
     Sometimes rock calls late with the mortgage. Sometimes rock
     knits shoulder blades right where you can’t pluck.

Early mornings something doesn’t sit right over the sink. Sits crooked.
     Slumps askew. Body doesn’t lay the way you left it. Squinting gets
     you nowhere. You squat to the floor and feel around. Stop. Smell
     for it. Shrug. Still some dangling something modifies you.
     Smackdab midchest you feel lumpy empty. Sniff. Sniff.


Like those days we grab our own pickaxes and head down to the
    mine. We hum worksongs. We sing hymns. We chip worry stone.
    We gather moss. We lie flat. We scratch at the mineshaft. Not
     toward exit but deeper to the core.

Source: Poetry (April 2014).


This poem originally appeared in the April 2014 issue of Poetry magazine

April 2014
 Samiya  Bashir


An editor, writer, and communications consultant for nonprofit and arts organizations, Samiya Bashir earned a BA in the literature of American ethnic cultures from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1994. Her full-length collections of poetry include Where the Apple Falls: poems (2005) and Gospel: poems (2009); she is also the author of the chapbooks Wearing Shorts on the First Day of Spring (1999), American Visa (2001), . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, The Body, Activities, Jobs & Working

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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