We took down the bird-feeder Because they told us to, even though None of the birds here are sick yet— We live in a period of excessive Pestilence, which sounds like a metal band Or the beginning of a tongue-twister Except it’s not so hard to say, Only to live in, red thread struggling Against passage through a needle’s eye, The space usually occupied by a rich man But they’ve all shot themselves into space, As if we aren’t already there; money In uncountable currency makes black Death savory, piquant, justified if you take Along someone with a better reason to go Which is almost any reason; the birds Stay where they can breathe, having Already come down in the world From being dinosaurs. The fat jays And the flicker move on, but a sparrow Has perched on the hook where the feeder Used to hang, has flown down to the space Where the seed was to be found. She’s looking For what was promised, expected, unable To appreciate what we did for her own good And who can’t relate to that? The absence Of disaster, might-have-beens, ordinary as Waking in a universe of mostly dark matter.
Daisy Bassen is a poet and community child 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 Salamander, McSweeney’s, Smartish Pace, Crab Creek Review, Little Patuxent Review, and [PANK] among other journals. She was the winner of the So to Speak 2019 Poetry Contest, the 2019 ILDS White Mice Contest, the 2020 Beullah Rose Poetry Prize, and the 2022 Erskine J Poetry Prize. Born and raised in New York, she lives in Rhode Island with her family.
Rahma O. Jimoh is a Nigerian writer and photog. She is a lover of sunsets and monuments and has been published or has works forthcoming in Tab Journal, Lucent Dreaming, Agbowo & others. She is an editor at Olumo Review. Pronouns: She/Her Twitter: @dynamicrahma