Barbara Daniels

Link to home pageLink to current issueLink to back issuesLink to information about the magazineLink to submission guidelinesSend email to

Back Off, Death

Give back the IV drip. Life
wants to put on her fur hip belt, Artwork by Gene McCormick
finger cymbals, glitter lipstick.

Stop laughing at grief days,
people lined up like penitents,
crying like refugees. Life is

researching which panties
look best with a twelve-inch skirt.
When you tip the floor up,

she can slide on it. Didn’t you
used to have better sacraments,
the dying girded for final

journeys, slathered with
sweet-smelling oil? Stop watching
the hanging woman, hair blown

over her bloated face. Teach me
to dance like a crane, awkward,
ecstatic, arms lifted like wings.


Barbara Daniels' chapbooks Black Sails and Quinn and Marie were recently published by Casa de Cinco Hermanas in Pueblo, Colorado, and Rose Fever: Poems is available from WordTech Press. Her poetry has appeared in Mid-American Review, Ars Medica, Solstice, The Literary Review, and many other journals. She earned an MFA from Vermont College and received two Individual Artist Fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. With her husband, David I. Daniels, she wrote English Grammar, published by HarperCollins.