Manistee Light by Samiya Bashir


Brother I don’t either understand
this skipscrapple world—

these slick bubble cars zip feverish
down rushes of notcorn or 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 mine 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.

To learn more about Samiya Bashir, visit her website by clicking here, or visit her page on the Poetry Foundation by clicking here.

This poem comes from Field Theories. Click HERE to purchase.

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You can also see her give a fantastic reading of this very poem by clicking here.

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