Maybe you’re here in the leaves
as you are in old photographs,
slender, laughing, drinking red wine.
Glitter starred your bare shoulders.
You said you had one perfect day, sunlight,
man you loved (or said you did),
lobster, champagne. Glossy reflections
in black windows slid away.
A blind cat scratched at your door,
flyblown, eyes crusted, hungry.
Of yourself you said fun-loving.
That was a lie, and I encouraged you,
your dress nearly transparent, straps
slipping down. It was months
before men saw their losses, check
from the back of a checkbook,
cufflink, gold coin. I’m worn
down, abraded. But late in the day
it’s bright white and blue here,
white spandrels aligned on the porch,
aching blue dome of the sky.
Barbara Daniels’s Talk to the Lioness was published by Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press in 2020. Her poetry has appeared in Lake Effect, Cleaver, Faultline, Small Orange, Meridian,and elsewhere. She received a 2020 fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.