Leah Maines

Leah Maines

Leah Maines has served as the senior editor for Finishing Line Press since she took over the press in 2002. She has edited over 550 poetry collections, including several award-winning titles. She is former Poet-in-Residence of Northern Kentucky University (funded in part by the Kentucky Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities). Maines is the author of two poetry books. Her first book was nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Williams Carlos Williams Book Award (Poetry Society of America). Looking to the East with Western Eyes, New Women’s Voices Series, No. 1 (Finishing Line Press, 1998) reached #10 in the “Cincinnati/Tri-State Best Sellers List” (Cincinnati Enquirer), and is now in its fourth printing. Her most recent collection, Beyond the River, (KWC Press, 2002, 1st edition) won the Kentucky Writers’ Coalition Poetry Chapbook Competition in 2002. Her poems have appeared in numerous national and international publications including Nebo, Owen Wister Review, Licking River Review, Flyway and other literary magazines and anthologies. Maines lived in Gifu, Japan where she studied and researched classical Japanese poetry at Gifu University. She also studied at Kings College London, England and The Marino Institute in Dublin, Ireland. Leah lives with her husband and children in Central Kentucky. She is an avid golfer, and collects golf balls (and poetry chapbooks) from around the globe.

After a Day of Sailing

faltering we fall
to find ourselves in
this dark room
my legs locked
around your waist
as you ask me
to do so
I do but
we both know
neither of us is ready
for this awkward moment
of first union
as we awkwardly fumble
to please the other
          tongue to tongue
          tell me your secrets
          draw me near
          come with me here and
          let my long blonde hair
                    flow like a river
                    over your shoulders
                    down the small of your back
                              round the curve to your belly
                              and beyond

then evening will come and
will dissolve our fumbling
into a fine mist of memory
and I will find myself
romanticizing the memory
          the smell of fresh air in your hair
          still there from a day of sailing
          the music of the mast softly whispering
          in our ears as you give yourself to me
as I go to rise
your fingers will gently glide
down my arm to ever so
slightly grasp my wrist and
you will say
          you don’t need to go

Exposing Light

In this sun
I remember your eyes clinched
Tightly to shut out the pain of it
Bright lights bringing on your headaches
Bringing on the reminder of your mortality

In this sun
I remember days on the beach
Before the tumors, before the seizures, before the tears
When we ran hand in hand
To greet the waves and
The excitement of what might be
Lurking in those waters
How we dared the jellyfish and the
Man-o-war to defeat us
How we dared the waves and the
Fierce undertow to take us
How we dared to allow ourselves
To be so utterly exposed to each other

In this sun
In this sun
Our eyes were opened

Poetry in this post: © Leah Maines
Published with the permission of Leah Maines