"What's the world for you if you can't make it up the way you want."

-Jazz, Toni Morrison


I wish this were surrealism

I wish this were surrealism

                        Judaism does not regard Daniel as a prophet;
                        Christianity regards Daniel as a prophet.

All the Daniels blur into one
Daniel – I date two at once,
still quite unfulfilled,
     but they don’t know.
They call me the wrong name, goodnight.
They drink too much to notice when I leave;
they ruin New Year’s Eve
and that is how it feels it’s always been.


Even the biblical Daniel makes an appearance
in my dreams, but I shoo shoo him away
from my last safe haven from the boys who
slit their arm so wide open on a broken hurricane glass
that I sit in at least three pints of blood
before the paramedics arrive
and I watch them through the porch planks.

I even know a Daniel who I didn’t sleep with, once;
he was my student and read science fiction novels.
I wondered if he knew of my history
with his people – or if my dirty past
of Daniel mistakes was an interior
documentation, all a self-help book
waiting to be written in the half lit apartment
where I live, alone.


Lauren McKenzie Reed received her MFA in Creative Writing from West Virginia University, where she taught for six years. She also has an MA in TESOL and, in addition to teaching and publishing, she has studied and worked in several countries, including Australia, Hong Kong, China, Ukraine, Mali, and Germany. Instagram:

Cover photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

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