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.
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.