As much as I like to believe in the multiverse,
This is the world we’ve got, though we’ve folded it
With novels and poems, creasing it like a brain.
Misery nestles against beauty, the hopeless desire
To be good to you, to have been good and not needed
To have been told, anger and sleep and the necessity of waking;
It isn’t something else that pulls you from dreams,
It’s your mind, a collection of fireflies in a jar,
Garish on a PET scan. Restless. Everything is true
And false at once, everything is right and wrong,
Sky reflected in a pond’s still surface still the sky,
Still frilled with rich green scum. I’d like to put myself
Away like a doll on a shelf, but I know how malevolent
A doll’s real face is, how every domino moment
Presses against you, the ascendant, inevitable fear
It will begin to move, its throatless voice always your own.
Daisy Bassen is a poet and practicing psychiatrist who graduated 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 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 Best of the Net anthology and for a 2019 Pushcart Prize. She lives in Rhode Island with her family.
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