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


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 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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