Arches Sutra (Poem)

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Photo by Paul Martini.

Arches Sutra

By Jai Hamid Bashir

Intimacy is a quiet knowing.
A terra-cotta cathedral hush, fingers-
laced & sleepiness in the nave; veiled
from the crypt. Later, it’s a buzzing

night-light in the shape
of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe.
Or, a relic from a shared kiss,
brought brightly home

all energy to out the shroud
of shadows. Cutting apples
into the shapes of ears, to
listen to the hum
of lover’s lungs take space,
lifting like balloons
or blooms of ribbed Yucca.

All alveoli beating upwards
from behind adobe skin, in the sand
and clean smell of washed ceramic.

Your blue-green iris undulates:
a slapping flag on a windy day,
unpatriotic: a color refugee
from neither border.

In the stilled motion
of sandstone, we tangle further
submerged deep
in our own quiet geographies.

Walk with me

into the borderless kiln
of tenderness; all we know and are
is this clay.

— Jai Hamid Bashir is a Pakistani-American ecologist and writer from Salt Lake City, Utah. She is currently an MFA candidate at Columbia University in the City of New York.