Samiya Bashir. Some days of wine and pastry

Samiya Bashir is the author of Field Theories (Nightboat Books, 2017), among other titles. The recipient of fellowships from MacDowell, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, among other organizations, she serves as the executive director of Lambda Literary.


Blah blah blah

there was a plague.

again. gwen called it


better than the alternative:

to live. you’d never know

so many of us do. despite ourselves

everyone has a story. when june asked

what we should do those of us who

did not die i imagine what she’d say

if i answered: lie around drunk and bake

bread; make cookies; never quite spread

the tight space that crushes us.

put my foot in the grass. press

toward grounding. pull back flesh

like hot ice. on the boiled side of melt.

it was cold it was hot it blazed

and that was before the never-

ending today of plague ran viral.

everywhere people with all

the anger all the guns feel

outnumbered. listen: they are.

i guess we’re just supposed to talk

about all this bullshit now. but


the leaves this autumn: incredible!

how they too flaunt flames deep

into december like they know

how fast we forget our own spilled

blood. walk beneath the canopy of me. see how

i hover how i don’t so much block light as scatter light

how i kitten yarn batter light. as fofie would say

if for just one day we didn’t have to earn

for just one day then who do we (want

to) become? brown and green and recent

rainwet sets everything alight like

the untoward way raindrops flash and prick

each bit of waning sunlight when i come back

around and meet myself after all this baking

in the new dark—do i just assume, june, that

i can remember to swim or let the current

pull me down again? here we insist

today did not happen here through

all of today’s happenings here.


tfw you know horrible things happened

but you can’t remember them


tfw you remember horrible thing after horrible thing

and still you think: nope—that’s not the one


tfw there’s nothing left but feeling—

no thought—just paralysis—and feeling


tfw there’s nothing left to feel

and nothing in the lap for breakfast


so it turns out i’m allergic to society

as a whole. when in doubt, they say,

go back in time. when i wanna feel safe

i figure i should want something else.

everywhere i go everyone i see could be

a shooter and my breasts beneath

bulletproof vests squeeze the breath

outta me. tomorrow is another country

even there the philosopher’s

stone ain’t stone: bottoms out

unexpectedly. i can’t forget water

while i drown so why does today’s silence

engulf so unseen and unsmelled and even

then tomorrow is not even there. maybe

this quiet is a star. our outer space

treaties are older now

than my whole generation. just as outdated.

just as orbited by garbage and left

to rot with our every epizootic breath.

it is, our leaders—ha?—hee?—say, what it is.


in rome i had a red feather boa.

i’d tickle your nose with my loosy-

goosy feathers. i ruled the stage, honey.

long gone now, how it blazed.

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