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Samiya Bashir

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Samiya Bashir

Samiya Bashir is the author of three poetry collections: Field Theories (Nightboat Books, 2017), winner of a 2018 Oregon Book Award: the Stafford/Hall Award for Poetry; Gospel (RedBone Press, 2009); and Where the Apple Falls (RedBone Press, 2005). She is the recipient of awards and fellowships from the Astraea Foundation, Cave Canem, Community of Writers at Squaw Valley, National Endowment for the Arts, National League of American Pen Women, and the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, among others. Bashir is an associate professor at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, where she lives.

by this poet

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:

Everyone up here called me crazy but
I couldn’t do nothing but what seemed right.
Crazy to fight—maybe—maybe crazy
enough to win. Every day I crouch down

into that bend I know I might not creep
out again. Tunnels eat men like penance—
like payment for letting us through       I knew


after Z. S.

Still, somehow we are
carousel. We spin bodies
to the wall and back.

We are woman and
man and man. We
are surgeon and

operation. We are
everybody we love.
We are inside them.

We are inside and we
are laughing. We are
man and we