The Muse

(An International Journal of Poetry)

ISSN 2249 –2178


Volume-2                                                       JUNE -2012                                                    Number-1



                  by Jim Daniels


marks the spot.

Check a box:

you are an X

not an X

and your filing status is


and your marital status is


and your race is


X. The crossroads

where you can sell your soul

to the devil or anyone else

who might have a casual interest.

Or trade it for some neat trinkets.


X as in

she is my X.

I am her second X.

This creates relative

pressure on each leg

here in the land of exes.

Do you prefer kisses or hugs?

I like my Xs boldfaced.



of ash on the forehead,

smudged, tilted cross.

Trees with orange Xs

will be removed. Deemed

unsatisfactory, though they burn

as good as any wood. Just as my body

will burn as good as any body

and what my survivors will get—

I hope they will have a casual interest—

will be ashes. They can rub them

on their asses for all I care. If the ashes

relieve an itch, salve a wound.


The black Xs of stitches hold skin

to skin. To heal. Leaving only

the tiny stigmata of the human.

You can talk all you want

about crosses, but the human impulse

leans toward the slant of the X

the criss-cross of arms

the natural flow of the wingless.


X scoffs at the parenthetical.

X does not compromise or forgive.

The vulnerability of the human X

exposed, without curl.

Sign here, here, and here.

Initial at the Xs.

X. I was here.

X. I am leaving.

X and X

over each eye.