"Torqued" by Barbara Daniels



I’m entirely faithless, nothing left
of sweaty childhood Sundays
but the smell of snuffed candles

and rotting lilies, clatter of kneelers.
Sometimes I think a soul looks
sideways out of a face, a gleam

of consciousness shot my way.
Some souls thrive in a monk’s cell,
a cave like the one that housed

St. Francis after he quit running
naked, having stripped off his cloak,
tunic, shoes. Surprise me, Lord.

I might still believe in the cold
sunrise that lights up the highway’s
road kills. My story isn’t important,

just the usual cancers and
heart-frying deaths. My spirit’s
been torqued by pincers, spanners,

breaker bars. Can someone
please pick up a crescent wrench
and twist till it lets in some light?


Barbara Daniels

Barbara Daniels’s book, Rose Fever, was published by WordTech Press and her chapbooks, Black Sails, Quinn & Marie, and Moon Kitchen, by Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press. Her poetry has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Mid-American Review, and many other journals. She received three Individual Artist Fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

Headshot: Mark Hillringhouse

Photo Credit: Staff