Wait for Baby Girl

By Aileen Bassis

at the window of Sweetleaf Coffee/ cars go from the foot
of the Pulaski Bridge to Brooklyn & back again/ turning
on Eleventh Street & onto 48th/ past brick & glass & under
trains skimming along an elevated track/ the #30 bus sweeps
around/ moves across Jackson with motorbikes/bicycles/
strollers/a pink-lipped woman with fuchsia gloves walks
by/ her hair is a red-brown tangle matching 3 dogs leashed
together in a triangle of fur and tongues bound to a man
trailing earbud wires & cigarette smoke/ I watch a woman
& a little girl/ in pink/ jacket/ hat & tights run
to make the light/
outside the window/ everything is motion while inside
Sweetleaf  Coffee everything is still except the barista
at the counter throwing napkins in the trash & a music
mix playing ohbabybabybaby/ Christina tells me a baby
is growing in her belly/she glows like a woman in my
book of medieval art/ a painted mother looking down
at her solemn baby who stares out from the picture
as if to say/ I’m here now/ what
happens next?
oh pinkpinkpink/ a girl is coming in the spring/ baby
babybaby/ what will be her name? I say maybe a flower
like Daisy or Violet but Christina doesn’t answer/ she
closes her eyes & she’s quiet as if she’s listening
to a seashell pressed against her ear & she says
wait mamá /wait/ we’ll meet her in the spring

Aileen Bassis is a visual artist and poet in New York 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. She was awarded two artist residencies in poetry to the Atlantic Center for the Arts. Her poems have been nominated for Pushcart prizes and two poems are in anthologies on the subject of migration. Her journal publications include B o d y Literature, Spillway, Grey Sparrow Journal, Canary, The Pinch Journal and Prelude.