She stretches her arms
toward the maddening stars.
Her lips which no longer love me
cower against her teeth
when I smile in the direction
she turns her face,
the way a bird might flinch
from a startling sound.
Today we sat by the sea
and I leaned against
the brown warmth of her skin,
so dizzy from what I wanted
and I wondered, with the breeze
in the salt twists of her hair,
those visionary palms, and her belly
that breathed as if it were holding
something it could not release,
if this was the closest I would get
to what I imagine is love.
Maureen Daniels grew up in England and Northern California. She has a B.A. from CUNY Hunter College and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from CUNY City College. She is the winner of The Doris Lipmann Prize, The Stark Short Fiction Award, The Audre Lorde Award, and others. Her poems and short stories have appeared in publications such as Lambda Literary, Pindeldyboz, Nibble, Scapegoat Review, and others. She currently lives in New York City with her family and a Dalmatian named Pink.