Exactly What Happened

Lighting is everything

and the time of day too


is important

and always partly to blame.


And the large room

full of people with drinks


in their nervous hands

must also be considered


as much as the reason

we were there,


which was art – bad

and under the scrutiny


of bright white light

and we knew each other


from the books we wrote

and we were there because


it was part of the event

which featured both our names


in the program.

And before the crowd thinned out


we found a balcony that hovered

effortlessly in the dark air


and felt the north exhaling

it’s cold breath


which prompted you

to step closer and inhale


my perfume

as you looked into me


for a moment without a word

and you didn’t even take my hand


which might have seemed strange

if we were both still young,


and instead, you swallowed hard

and silently lowered your chin


over my spinning head

and both of your arms were


tight and tender around me

as if you were apologizing


for something we both knew

couldn’t exist in this beautiful


and whispering dark.



DeMaris Gaunt







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