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-
Copyright © 2017 by Samiya Bashir. Originally published in Field Theories (Nightboat Books, 2017). Used with the permission of the poet.