Love, Declined

It truly didn’t matter
how happy we were
sitting on that fallen oak
covered with snow
talking about the things
we’d do come spring
or how perfectly content
you seemed
pinned to the tulip tree
which helped you stand
as I kissed you for the
thousandth time
with no way to know
it would be the last—
all our talks and laughter
and comfortable silences
weren’t right enough
for those words
you whispered in my ear
to mean what I thought
they would mean
when I wanted to know
if we could be more
than just a foolish wish
that wouldn’t come true.

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
1-31-17

 
 

 

 

Scar Tissue

I must
have known
all along
we would
come to this—
that you’d
retreat
into solitude
which is where
I found you
standing
alone
on all those
mountaintops
where people go
to find
themselves—
I should have
recognized
your freedom
as your joy—
that you were
already
complete
in your
solitary state
and didn’t need
my love
to make you
whole.

 

 

 

DeMaris
1-30-17

 

Last Love

“You’ll get tired of me”
you said, and I said “no”
but what I should have said
was that I want you
to be my last and longest
and most familiar love—
my favorite love—
that I want you to be the one
who knows me well enough
to see that there was never
anyone else who could find me
or please me or understand me
as perfectly or completely as you.

 

 

 

DeMaris
1-27-17

 

To My Love

Here—
take my love
for warmth when
we must part—
keep it wrapped
around you in the day
and in the night—
or leave it
on the shelf
if you need to
re-enter the world
in your solitary state,
or if you want to
accept another
offer of affection—
put it in a box
if you get tired
of its glow
or return to sender
if it doesn’t fit
the way it should—
no strings are attached
to my gentle
ardent love—
which I hope will
become a scaffolding
for yours.

 

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
1-26-17

Photograph by Inge Morath, 1971

 

 

Lovebirds

 

You are
the little bird
with your wings
spread in a modest
and tentative display
singing a song
so quiet
the others don’t
get close enough
to appreciate
your splendor—

I am
the little bird
who flew in closer
to admire
the way the light
illuminates the color
in your wings
and I can hear
that the song you
started singing today
is just for me.

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
1-26-17