Heavenly Creatures

Maureen Daniels



We are back in the lost world
riding our basilisks in the storm,

miniature cockerels clucking
in our shirt pockets.

We have burnable books
in our rucksacks, pages bloated

by the blood of wars. In the hip
high dry grasses, we listen

for the sounds of our enemies,
rockets swarming like wasps.

After the summer of electric
windmills, tents of ballast

and your obsession
with fireworks, you warned me

about the palace of rituals
in your brother’s bathroom,

the glass eye in the wall,
the unstoppable shooting star.

You said you had seen
the meridian of his kingdom,

a soot-soft gryphon blinking
his third eye. The next morning,

before sunrise I took my hatchet
and naphthalene to your

family’s stable, burned your
brother’s junk-wood party down.





MAUREEN DANIELS teaches English at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, where she is also a doctoral fellow in creative writing. She is an editorial assistant for Prairie Schooner and Western American Literature. Her work has recently been published in Sinister Wisdom, Wilde Magazine, Gertrude Press, and the South Florida Poetry Review.