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Friday, January 30, 2015


by Aileen Bassis

Pushing aside a bottle on the table
and tearing off a piece of bread,
there’s a whisper, “Maybe
the bear wakes again,” and a rank smell

comes in the cracks between the boards.
The bear swings
a heavy leg over a door sill,
floorboards gasp.

The bear fills the room, hunger turning
his glassy blue eye a colder shade,
“I bring stability.”
His breath burns like ice,

the bear’s gravelly voice,
crackles like a radio broadcast
heard late at night
in a Lada careening

down the highway to Donetsk,
he pauses to lift a thick nailed paw,

“always, we were one.”

Aileen Bassis is a visual artist in Jersey City working in book arts, printmaking, photography and installation. Her use of text in art led her to explore another creative life as a poet. Her poems have found homes in many publications including Gravel Magazine, Milo Journal, Specs Journal, Spillway, Grey Sparrow Journal and Amoskeag.