Her Seven Faces – Barbara Daniels

Her Seven Faces

Sleeping in blankets like limp wings,

she dreams a madwoman’s dreams,

(pointing fingers, orange birds

whistling convulsively, cord strung

with teeth and a prickly amulet).

She bursts out of sleep

like a swimmer gasping for air.

Dried salt marks her skin.

She searches a mirror

for her seven faces — stiff grin,

frown her face slumps into,

sales-talk smile, and, damn it.

What were the other ones?

Her teeth are still yellow,

A3, determined when her dentist

held tinted chips against her mouth.

These are her eyes in the mirror,

flecks of grayed slate.

A ghost brushes the back of her neck.

Charms, countercharms.

It’s not too late to be changed.

Barbara Daniels’s Talk to the Lioness was published by Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press in 2020. Her poetry has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Mid-American Review, and elsewhere. Barbara Daniels received a 2020 fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

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