poem index

Poem-A-Day

Poem-a-Day is the original and only daily digital poetry series featuring over 200 new, previously unpublished poems by today's talented poets each year. On weekdays, poems are accompanied by exclusive commentary by the poets. The series highlights classic poems on weekends. Launched in 2006, Poem-a-Day is now distributed via email, web, and social media to 350,000+ readers free of charge and is available for syndication. For more information about how to syndicate Poem-a-Day, contact [email protected].

You’re really faithful to your abusers, aren’t you?

Recorded for Poem-a-Day, February 20, 2018.
About this Poem 

“As we wrestle with questions of power, agency, our bodies, and our cultural legacies, I’ve been thinking and writing through my own questions about whether, and how, our bodies are valued or used by others and ourselves. And where do our grand callings like ‘love,’ in all its potentially violent earnestness, live in this post-post-post-post-modern era of closet cleaning, skeleton dragging, self-caring? Should those grand callings live here with us at all? And, if so, how?”
—Samiya Bashir

You’re really faithful to your abusers, aren’t you?

Like love: first you pick up; then you lay down; then discard; then discard; then discard. That’s love. Right? Did somebody say Dominoes? The problem of a street game is you. You’re already doing it wrong. Doing it wrong before you wake up. Before you walk up the street. Cross the crowded corner. Case in point: When you reach the bones table, you stop. Stare. Consider. Count. Think: This is a lovely afternoon for a friendly game of dominoes! Call next. Figure they don’t hear. Call next again. You call louder. You call in Spanish. Then you walk (again, with the walking) into the bodega. Come out with four 40oz bottles. Suddenly somebody hears. Suddenly the smell of holes burning pockets. Suddenly, the game you watch ends. Like love. Right? Somebody?

Copyright © 2018 by Samiya Bashir. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 20, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2018 by Samiya Bashir. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 20, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

previous poems