Ask Me Anything (for d.b.)

That’s what you say
when you know
who you’re talking to—
when you expect
the expected and are
prepared to lie—
and clever enough
to keep it interesting.
Or maybe I’m wrong
about you.
Maybe you’re the one
who can speak honestly
after you offer
such an invitation,
even if the question is—
“Would you show me
all your scars?”


DeMaris Gaunt



Now You Know

No one knew.
For years no one knew
what we had done—
what violations lay dormant
waiting to be discovered
and judged.
And because it happened so fast
without time to consider
anything but the moment,
it seems unfair
that we be given no credit
for the will it took
to put an end to things—
to those wonderful pleasures
which were somehow wrong.
And I speak of it now
not because of guilt
but because what we shared
in that beautiful dark
still shines.


DeMaris Gaunt

Seventh Floor

I have no choice.
There is no option
to be with you again
or return to that bed
on the seventh floor
after the rain outside
into a need to dry our skin
on the white sheets
where I became a church
containing your confession
and what could I do
but forgive you
for wanting to keep me warm
until the sun broke
into the morning
catching us
warning us
that beauty can burn
as easily as it can
open our mouths
to smile, to speak
or steal a cool
and longed for kiss.

DeMaris Gaunt

No Sympathy

So much sympathy
for so many things.
We mourn the victims
of the earthquake
who are silent now,
and we condemn
this same nature
that created us—
the same nature that created
the volcano, the winds—
the fearsome tides that swell
like the anger of gods.
But still,
there is no sympathy
for beauty—
for the damage it can cause.
No pity for the beautiful,
who are victims of cravings
they never meant to induce.
And just as the earth cannot
deny the timing of its fits,
neither can the heart refuse
its violent longing
to pull up roots and
upset another patch of soil.


DeMaris Gaunt



You deny
that you will ever reach it-
that the exhilaration
of the summit
will always remain
in the delicious future-
that the drug-like high
of traveling toward the climax
will linger forever
as you enjoy the new
and spectacular views.
And you won’t see it coming-
the plateau-
but you know you’ve reached it
when all of a sudden
you can only climb back down.
DeMaris Gaunt

Black Hole Sun

I know something new
about the universe
which has nothing to do with stars.
There is a light unknowable
unless you are traveling
at the speed of darkness
toward a slow motion mouth
consuming all your gravity—
all your weightless mass.
And this discovery will never be
documented in the science journals
and there will be no one
to praise or congratulate you
after you’ve fallen back to earth
in possession of a beauty
so blinding, so completely yours—
that you can never share it.

DeMaris Gaunt


On the long hike
you daydream
about what you’ll say
if you’re ever found out—
if your late night
conversations go unerased,
lingering like ripened fruit
in your online garden
of temptation.
Your first bite
wasn’t sweet or bitter
but it was new, strange—
an explosion of taste
you couldn’t help but crave.
Would it matter
to your lover
that you struggled at first?
That you ignored the
fresh scent of his flowers?
Are you still guilty
if you didn’t fall in love—
if you only wanted
to follow his beauty
into another landscape
for a while?
What if you did fall in love?
Your defense
would be the same.
You would have come back,
you promise.
You promise
you were on your way back.

DeMaris Gaunt