God, I’m expecting to hear from you
Any day now, something winged alighting upon me,
A Rush of Cochineal —
The terms of the visitation I leave to your discretion.
Superposition helps, as well as love —
Though you must already understand, as you do the whorls
Of shells and oily fingerprints, of despair’s many steps,
Of staircases descending, too shallow, not built to code.
I dream of falling down, of gravity’s firm grasp;
Air has no Residence, no Neighbor,
I am passing through. My terror leaves as little mark
As my joy when I wake. God, tell me you know —
Affection doesn’t know.
Daisy Bassen is a poet and community child psychiatrist who graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University’s Creative Writing Program and completed her medical training at The University of Rochester and Brown. Her work has been published in Oberon, McSweeney’s, The Sow’s Ear, and [PANK] as well as multiple other journals. She was a semi-finalist in the 2016 Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry and the winner of the So to Speak 2019 Poetry Contest, the 2019 ILDS White Mice Contest, and the 2020 Beullah Rose Poetry Prize. She was doubly nominated for the 2019 and 2021 Best of the Net Anthology and for a 2019 and 2020 Pushcart Prize. She lives in Rhode Island with her family.