/jai hamid bashir

I Dream A Highway

Love is the only confirmation we have
for our Earth’s future known only now by faith.
Under uncommon stars I am wildered in bliss

of each crowbar and fence undug in tunnel to your heart.
And there, just this: glitterfreeze surrender of each comet.

Whatever sky has ever meant is the dark pasture in the warm
evening of your hair. The origin of cursive is your curls.

If I knew your piano desk, I’d run the sunk creek of your blue
jean shirt unraveled. In brief, silvered vision I heard that water
in the night and in the rain. Trees rise with sweet moss in new directions.
Sugared trumpet of your panther’s throat sings me through this quiet world,

and when we arrive free again in our soft cars and sacred unsplit
feral roads on perfect gasoline on the coast that causes no pollution,
know we have always been similar strangers to this life’s theatre,

shifting on opposite ends of the curtain. Know that your eyes are two
moons that I swim under. In the steady gait of the last panther

in American fields, enter my life’s gate: slip away each foal like magic.

Elegy With a Possible Future in It

I slept with an echoing fire. It was then after
moon entered the slopes of my tent. Walking into
naked light, stars all fallen like lips of a tired orchid.
Gravity was invented for you. To keep you

tethered somehow and always. I hum
a firm treadle of my own circulating
bloodsong. The blue phantom
helps unstitch the campsite. I uncircle
the fire, I unribbon the swing of food

no wild thing ate. I know
lichens and mushrooms, I’m sewn
in their quietest tongues. Grief is a stillness
through which I keep pulsing my feet.

My heart is a hoof. Kneeled in the thick
of honey in knowing you could be blossom
now stupid and pollinated from mad buzz
of bees making sugar from wounds.

I get in my truck. Enter my own
house so quietly. Ma’s uncaged yellow
finches clean one another on top of thin orbit
of silver jar lids. Jams clear- pink as fish

cold eggs. Smell of coffee comes
through the walls, circling
like black wolves. I felt a soft rush.

A feather in your cup.

Born to Pakistani-American immigrant artists, Jai Hamid Bashir was raised in the Southwest. Jai has been published by The American Poetry Review, Palette Poetry, The Margins, Academy of American Poets, and others.  An MFA student at Columbia University in the City of New York, she recently received the Linda Corrente Memorial Prize. She also is recent winner of an Academy of American Poets University prize and is the 2020 winner of the Zócalo Prize for the Best Poem about Place.