by Daisy Bassen

  1. One thing is true.
  2. And two things are true.
  3. Even three, four, twelve,
  4. Twenty things are true at once.
  1. The Big Dipper, so friendly,
  2. And Orion’s Belt, your favorite,
  3. The moon, the clouds, a planet,
  4. Maybe Mars, blushing. The sky’s full.
  1. Insulin works. There are needles, fine,
  2. Or you have a pump that makes you
  3. A bionic woman, for well under a cool mil,
  4. Sugar is sweet and so are you, honey. Comas.
  1. Shock and awe. Shock treatment.
  2. Shocky, the tired resident says in the ER,
  3. Push fluids. Your face when they hand you
  4. The baby you worried about for nine months.
  1. Something’s missing. You can’t get it,
  2. Not a teaspoon of sugar. You get something else,
  3. It’s what there is, not what you needed, not needing
  4. It, needles, an alarm clock waking you in the night
  1. So you won’t die: relief. An alarm clock waking you
  2. In the morning, remind you to get a refill
  3. So you won’t get stuck in the moment before
  4. Crying, crying, all that salt water, amnion
  1. The ocean, normal saline run wide-open,
  2. Pacific, drowning. The world is covered
  3. In ocean and it’s a hard place, covered
  4. In shoals, bleaching corals that we want to save,
  1. Barriers. Admission: your brain is unknown,
  2. But familiar, déjà vu, jamais vu;
  3. A room with a view, Florence in the spring
  4. The light citron, the dust citron, the pill citron.
Packingtown Review – Vol.13, Spring 2020

Daisy Bassen is a practicing physician and poet. She 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, The Delmarva Review, The Sow’s Ear, and Tuck Magazine as well as multiple other journals. She was a semi-finalist in the 2016 Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry, a finalist in the 2018 Adelaide Literary Prize, a recent winner of the So to Speak 2019 Poetry Contest and is doubly nominated for a 2019 Pushcart Prize. She lives in Rhode Island with her family.

  1. Jan Ball