Stairs: a rushed flight down thirty-eight; French doors unlocked always.
Always: a lie; an argument.
Argument: two buck hunters circle a meadow’s edge.
Edge: one of us outside bleeding.
Bleeding: shards of glass; doors locked.
Locked: carpet awash with blood.
Blood: lift and drop; a sudden breeze.
Breeze: its whistle though bone.
Bone: the other was looking at —
Bone: cradle to catch drips.
Drips: quiet as a meadow fawn.
Fawn: faces down each hunter each gun.
Again: somebody call someone.
Someone: almost always prefers forgetting.
Forgetting: an argument; a lie.
Lie: a meadow; a casement; a stair.
Who was warned about these things:
the neverhush, the maddening chafe
sliding down a reddened bridge, print
Who was told how to brook it?
The houndstooth stench of olding.
That time just runs itself out. That
we Sisyphus ourselves to glasses,
hobble wreckage down stair
after bricky stair.
That once we leave home—its gaseous
oven—that once we walk the same slow
steps as our hide-and-seek sun that
once we face our anti-lovers’ anti-gaze:
bright, open, later, now eyes smoldered
coats swept open to flash our own
scarred bellies our own hot hands
ablaze with spent matches with burnt-out
How it loosed its jaw to our kisses?
How it unhinged us? How it tried us
like so many keys like so many rusted
locks? How it missed its target despite its
kicking? How maybe its force could kill us?
Without it what’s left day after day
to trundle our legs? What’s left to push
breath ragged and torn from our lungs?
Who was warned
how these solar winds would leave us
brown and bruised as apples over-
-ripe host and blowsy seed dis-
Samiya Bashir‘s poetry collection Field Theories wends its way through quantum mechanics, chicken wings and Newports, love and a shoulder’s chill, melding blackbody theory (idealized perfect absorption, as opposed to the whitebody’s idealized reflection) with real live Black bodies. Her previous books of poetry, Gospel and Where the Apple Falls, exist.
She lives in Portland, Oregon, with a magic cat who shares her obsessions with trees and blackbirds and occasionally crashes her classes and poetry salons at Reed College. Follow her on Twitter at @scryptkeeper.
Roland Dahwen Wu was born in Vermont, United States. He grew up in a remote coastal town in northern California and studied at Reed College.
He made his first documentary at the age of 20, entitled There Are No Birds in the Nests of Yesterday (Ya No Hay Pájaros en los Nidos de Ayer, 2010), on el silbo gomero, the whistled language of the Canary Islands. Since then he has worked in documentaries, video installations, translation, and photography. He is the founder of Patuá Films.
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