Maggie Queeney

The look I am hunting: the one

that through color and cut glares


the starer into a skull or a skein

of lightning, a switch


stalled at dawn, or the gloaming

along an equator. What fascinates


I shine like flame-blackened foil,

a rhinestone snoring at lake bottom,


a wreck's brass-bound astrolabe,

bright as hard tender, newly minted,


mewling and naked under

oil-slick pleather sieving light,


prism-like, my limbs sing their siren

song, pull ribbons of pure note over


the pack's snarl and bark, teeth pop,

dangling chain of saliva snaps—


deep under, I stay

seamless as a safe, a rust-sealed letter


box, corroded pill case, my insides

scoured to looking glass


by a tangle of wind trapped,

a cyclone circling the space


the size a doll's eye makes,

panting my small breath.









This poem is the winner of the 2019 Stanley Kunitz Memorial Prize. APR awards $1,000 and publication to a poet under 40 years of age in honor of the late Stanley Kunitz's dedication to mentoring poets. 




Found In Volume 48, No. 05
Read Issue
  • queeney author photo 2
Maggie Queeney
About the Author

Maggie Queeney is the author of settler, selected by Shane McCrae in the 2017 Baltic Writing Residency Poetry Chapbook Contest. Her most recent work is found or forthcoming in The North American Review, The Southwest Review, Fugue, The Fairy Tale Review, and Nashville Review, among others.