this is what we talk about, the women you don’t pay any attention to

Daisy Bassen
| poetry


she found a collection of old vibrators when she cleaned out
her grandfather’s art studio and the gold and green painting
of concentric lines, of a thirty-year-old woman’s orgasm
coming against the color of her kitchen appliances
hangs in the background of the screen when we talk
about whether there will be a coup and whether the gifts
we send will arrive on time, how her arm feels, like a work-
out, a punch, she got the shot and we’re all waiting to get vaccinated
or get a fever or shovel the walk or wish for snow; she inherited
her father’s journals, he wrote every day and her sister agreed
to read them, she’s glad because she doesn’t want to know
what he thought of the women he met, documented, their round asses
he imagined in his hands or maybe he touched them, she doesn’t
want to know because you can’t unknow some things, you can’t
wish there was just a painting, yellow ochre glowing, brighter
than pixels, than breastmilk jaundice, any flame, the ventilator’s
warning light, the vaccine in its vial, a second coming for us, for some
of us it won’t be until summer, green again and gold.

Daisy Bassen is a poet and practicing physician 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, and PANK, among other journals. Born and raised in New York, she lives in Rhode Island with her family.

If a Still Life Moves, I Guess It’s Just a Life