POETRY: “Mixed State” by Daisy Bassen

One night, I dreamt a mouthful of broken teeth,
Jagged, inescapable ruins, salt white like the desert,
Wet like the jungle’s crawling underbrush.
The next, the faces of every clock smashed,
Hands palm up on the floor beneath,
Callused, nails outlined with dirt, thumb crooked
To hitchhike. Every bird is a rapturous falcon,
Scanning for prey by their bellies.
The rending goes on and on, the old open ocean,
The horizon falls away. The drip rushes back
To the faucet’s throat, wrong.
A bell audible in space—alien.

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.