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Consequences of the Laws of Thermodynamics

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When Albert Murray said
the second law adds up to
the blues that in other words
ain’t nothing nothing he meant it

not quite the way my pops says
nomads don’t show emotions
but more how my grandmother
warned that men like women

with soft hands blood red
nails like how Mingus meant
truth if  you had time for it
facts if  you got no time that

years pass. Zero
one two three and
the man you used

to flirt with you can
no longer flirt with
thank goodness.

He’s now a man
you can’t wear
your  jaw out on

about weather
news or work

a perfect
strawberry

buried
beneath

a peck.

Source: Poetry (April 2014)

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

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Consequences of the Laws of Thermodynamics

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  • 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, Ecotone, HOAX, The Normal SchoolPoet LoreCallaloo, and The Encyclopedia Project. Her poems have appeared in anthologies, including War Diaries (2010), Best Lesbian Erotica 03 (Cleis Press, 2002), Best of the Best Lesbian Erotica (Cleis Press, 2000), and the Cave Canem Anthology: VII(2002)The poems in Gospel reference a diverse range of voices and traditions; Norse gods, Ghanaian call and response, and black gospel all contribute to an exploration of the sensual world. Blackademics reviewer Alexis Pauline Gumbs found the poems “inhabiting the tradition of black gospel music’s...

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