Jai Hamid Bashir

Lucky Rabbit’s Foot

I want to understand the arithmetic of rabbits.
I’ve cradled the childhood shoe 
of a girl I once loved, the leathery tongue 

weathered through seasons. I’ve learned heartbreak, 
without discipline, becomes as untallied 
as rabbits in heat swarming in nightgrass. 

The terror of numbers. I’ve grazed the globe 
of a bunny’s stomach: the eventual citadel 
of maggots. The thick dark ringing 

and electricity of her nervous life. 
The angora coat once left on the corner 
of my bed. The older man I once knew 

caressed my feet. Flecked with red polish; 
I once was a dancer. He said the curve 
of where I fractured my ankle was the softest 

part of my body. A rabbit’s foot 
hung on his keychain. Before putting on 
his clothes, he held a finger to my lip and called 

me: sweet bunny. Inside, I devour 
fences and fields. An animal so tender yet ravaging. 
As opaque as the final gaze of a dying dog 

Jai Hamid Bashir is a Pakistani-American artist with work published in American Poetry Review, POETRY, Arkansas International, Denver Quarterly, Black Warrior Review, and Guernica. She has earned numerous accolades, including an Academy of American Poets Prize, the Zócalo Public Square Poetry Prize, and The Linda Corrente Memorial Prize at Columbia University. Her work has also received multiple nominations for the Pushcart Prize and has been featured in The Best of the Net anthology. Jai is a graduate of The University of Utah and Columbia University and resides in Salt Lake City, Utah.