“The Ushers” by Maureen Daniels

I’m holding onto the arm

of the past while we walk


through the graveyard of our

misfortune. I can’t escape


the color of the rose,

the flushed face above all


those thick thorns that cull me

from the herd of girls who


follow you. My desire

is hidden in your back


pocket like a fat wallet

flooded with photographs.


This afternoon is not ripe

enough for war. I’d rather


be ushered out these gates

onto the glittering


sidewalk far from any place

we’ve ever called home. Don’t


remind me that the children

won’t forgive us. This marriage


will never be a pleasant

surprise. Any truth between us,


will be buried beneath the fallen

stones and grasses. I don’t need


your forgiveness any more

than I need this memory.










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.