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The smallness of language between
us, the day before Krishna Janmashtami,

we line up outside the temple. The guru
marks red our foreheads. Lost in ventricles

of divine unconcern. In tender protest,
my world is another color. Lorca: Verde que

te quiero verde. Some lovemaking becomes
silent labor, windless and starless midnights.

Yesterday’s lapse of repeated myths.
What I don’t know is how to love

another person. How will I remember
your wet, tangled hair smelled of kelp?

An exit sign exhales. I tell you, so, I want
to come clean. In the parking lot, our private

ceremonies—a water bottle, your gentle face—
I am now pouring into each hand.



Jai Hamid Bashir’s work has recently appeared in Poetry, American Poetry Review, Adroit Journal, Denver Quarterly, Guernica, and others. She has received an Academy of American Poets Prize and Zócalo Public Square Poetry Prize and been included in the Best of the Net anthology.




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