The Dive

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. 

Lips espying


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 ReviewThe American Literary ReviewThe Cortland ReviewSmall 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.