The Answer

When I was a younger
version of myself
attending poetry readings
in the afterhours bosom
of the bookstore—
made of amber lit rows
of perforated shelves—
I sought the faces
which looked most
unreadable and wise
and wondered
if there would ever be a time
when I wouldn’t feel curious
about the one single face
I would single out
each time I walked into a room
or walked up to the glowing mic
on stage.
And now that I have the answer,
which was always, to her,
an ambiguous yes,
I wish I could tell her
to just enjoy it—
her inexhaustible hunger—
because she didn’t know then
that it would last forever,
or that it could—
that the answer was no.
That desire would never
stop, abate or cool—
even though she’d already chosen
her favorite poem.


DeMaris Gaunt



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