Jai Hamid Bashir
The night is still ahead. Sing this knife
into the unrush of shellfish. Hush—
into bodily knowing. Ungather translucent skin
in the motions how sand is swept
from fisherman’s cuticles.
Mussels curl on like floating ears. Listen
to the bright bristling nightbrush on
scour of hard rock. Brine bodies bowed
in oceanic prowl of half-moons.
Strum through stilled sealegs,
like a chord. Once so untouchable,
these creatures cruised on benthic floor.
The traps in the kitchen are humane.
Behind his eyelids in morning
light humid perfume of open water.
He turns off the stove. Hands net
into a white dress, searching soft whips
of ocean line catching my life in half-
heaven, between water and sky.
Tasting each— other wet.
So blissdrunk. So blues-salted.
Desire moving each
lazy applause of May rain.
another super hunger,
swimming towards the coast,
now the moon is thinned to fringe.
Audio Recording of Jai Hamid Bashir Reading “The Dive”
Born to Pakistani-American immigrant artists, Jai Hamid Bashir (she/her) was raised in the American West. Jai has been published and has work forthcoming from The American Poetry Review, The American Literary Review, The Cortland Review, Small Orange Press, and others. An MFA student at Columbia University in the City of New York, she writes between Salt Lake City, Washington Heights, and Lahore.