Brother I don’t either understand
this skipscrapple world—
these slick bubble cars zip feverish
down rushes of notcorn of notbeets
notcabbage and the land and the land—
you should know, man, nothing
grows down here anymore except
walloped wishes and their gouged out
oil cans. Where notbloodroot spans us
guard towers land mined in the sand.
They twist us. They tornado us. No—
Do spring breezes bring the scent of smelt?
Remember? Even on strike our mother
gathered smelt by their fingery bagfuls
and fried them whole. I wish I knew
how she did it. It was almost enough.
Copyright © 2017 by Samiya Bashir. Originally published in Field Theories (Nightboat Books, 2017). Used with the permission of the poet.