Maureen Daniels – Valerie

Maureen Daniels


Shaved her girlhood off in the temple.
Incense streaming

while candle wax covered
curious fingertips. Dove wild,

bare feet slapping, we were
young as fire

on the ridge of a match.
She tore off her satin

robe and ivory headdress, led me
into the shadow of the lion-

mouthed fountain. A bird drank
from the minuscule stream.

There was a silence
behind her red laughter.

Childhood broke in me
and I have never gone back.


Maureen Daniels teaches English at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, where she is also a doctoral fellow in creative writing. She is an editorial assistant for Prairie Schooner and Western American Literature. Her work has recently been published in Sinister Wisdom, Wilde Magazine, Gertrude Press, Third Wednesday, and the South Florida Poetry Review.

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