Four Poems by Samiya Bashir


We call it dark matter because it doesn’t interact with light

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Atoms in Motion

— his ‘fro had gone lumpy at the left side.
He hadn’t been himself for days.
When queried he could only grunt a bit croak a bit eyes locked in haze.
She chose to love him. She chose to make him some pie.
She gathered kindling. He told her apples were his favorite.
She gathered rubes hung swollen from disuse.
She knew a sly creature who pointed to which branches birthed best. Yes:
She decided to love him. To make him a gift. His favorite.
She knelt to her oven as smoke filled first right eye then left.
She sat back on her heels and stirred the pyre.
She sat back and stirred the pyre because —




Five Tips for Looking Your Best Through Civil Unrest:

Avoid heavy cottons.

Embrace the blend into a moonless night.

Necessities only: medicine, make-up, moisturizer.

Leave lugging to the muscle.

A good stain remover can’t be done without.




Quadratic Equations

it’s rough

what I do

to rivers




Samiya Bashir’s most recent book of poems, Gospel, was a finalist for both the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and along with her first collection, Where the Apple Falls, the Lambda Literary Award. Previously an editor with Ms. Magazine and Black Issues Book Review, she co-edited Role Call: A Generational Anthology of Social & Political Black Literature & Art. Samiya holds a BA from the University of California, Berkeley, where she served as Poet Laureate, and an MFA from the University of Michigan, where she received two Hopwood Poetry Awards. An Ann Arbor, Michigan, native, Samiya has a magic cat who shares her love of trees.