No Earth Survives a Country

after Samiya Bashir

No Earth Survives a Country | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Path in the Roman Campagna by Giovannie Battista Camuccini in the 1840s. Courtesy of The Morgan Library and Museum.

Long: a measurement; the distance it takes to remember.

Remember: everything that had to fall.

Fall: the end of summer’s tyranny.

Tyranny: some part of us we could not love.

Love: absent from a bruise; a god who makes promises and threats with rain.

Rain: it easily insists; a way through a crack.

Crack: there had been warnings; a sound heard when the truth arrived.

Arrived: at the foot of history with smirks on our faces.

Faces: vaguely appearing in clouds; their knowing mercy.

Mercy: this new world.

World: oh, how it gives; a bed of return.

Return: survivor’s dread; in a cold sweat, someone dreams of country.

Country: no; never again.

Again: an american frequency.

Frequency: the marrow of pursuit; the speed at which sound travels.

Travel: to leave a thing behind; we imagined our feet which created a path.

Path: the history of this moment; a trail; a road; short, or long.

Sasha Banks is a 2019 Rhode Island Writers Colony fellow who received her MFA at Pratt Institute and is the author of the debut collection of poems, America, MINE, to be published by co•im•press in 2020.
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