Two Poems by Daisy Bassen

                                       To the first alien,
                                                            to serve as a guide to humans,
                                                                    assuming you are not telepathic
                                                                   or simply interested in harvesting carbon

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               Contentment, security, within and without; that we were born
               That we will die

              Stability, distance, we were made to walk miles; translation’s
              Necessity, novelty’s solution to an impasse

              The hand that creates, that makes a fist, sensation; the truth
              Of limitations, consummate sweetness

                Weather and the tidal sea, the future, urge, confusion; all clocks
                Lose time, everyone is lost, search; flares


In Lieu

It was the gap
On the radio station before the Test,
That tranquil voice announcing, this is a Test…
But this was the moment before, the dark
Relief from the latest, calibrated pop
That fills your head in the car and doesn’t stop
As you pull the key from the ignition, slick.
It happened, just peace, softer and simpler
Than serenity. Your horizon the hydrangea housecoat,
Legs sagging beneath the hem. Her words,
Not obscene, but still pouring from her mouth
Beetles, ordinary malice, not scarab-bright.
She died. Just so.
The change was sweet as maple candy.

Daisy Bassen is a psychiatrist, mother, wife and poet. She graduated from Princeton University with a degree in English and has been published in Oberon, The Sow’s Ear, AMWA Literary Journal, and SUSAN|The Journal. She was a semi-finalist in the 2016 Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry. She lives in Rhode Island with her husband and children.