Poetry by Erin Bassler

Art by Patrick Driscoll

What Do You Know?

The day we are born, we know everything
Truth and Reason
One moment of perfect clarity
And then
A blink, a flash, a heartbeat
It’s gone
We spend the rest of our lives
Trying to find it again
Not knowing makes us blind, desperate
To bottle up smoke
He’s better than him, her, them
Is that Truth?
Because they said it, did it, wanted it
Is this Reason?
Answers are screaming, shoving, scratching
No way to know what is Right.
Our heads rattle with all we think that we know
Until time marches past
A lived life absorbs a once sodden pride
And we know
We know we don’t know as much as we thought
Almost nothing at all
That certainty we’ll never feel again
And that’s okay
The day we are born, we know everything
We need for
One moment of perfect clarity
To survive
A blink, a flash, a heartbeat
Then no more
We spend the rest of our lives
Learning

Prologue

In the darkness where she dwells
she is warm
Waves caress her beating heart
In the darkness where she dwells
she is safe
Cradled in a cocoon amidst the rumble
In the darkness where she dwells
she is loved
Words soft and whispered and sung
In the darkness where she dwells
she is growing
Knowing herself more with every second passing
From the darkness where she dwells
she is born
The world is loud and bright to greet her

Not

I want to want
But I don’t
She’d like to like
But she doesn’t
He would try to try
But he won’t
They would if they would
But they won’t
It is if it –
It isn’t.

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