How to Love an Introvert Part III

If possible
become someone else
with thicker skin
try to be uncrushable
be ready
and brace yourself
for rejection
that will come
gift-wrapped
as an apology
because
your introvert knows
he exists in a world
ruled by the
social appetites
of extroverts
and even though
you are not one of them
you’ve conformed
to the expectations
of the social order
and have taken
great care
to filter your thoughts
before you speak
and master
the appropriate
responses to benign
and ordinary questions
like
how was your day
but don’t you dare
waste his precious time
with questions
that don’t
draw out of him
the essence of
who he is
which you suspect
will resemble you
in your purest form.

 

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
6-20-17

“Moonlight” by Winslow Homer 1894

How to Love an Introvert Part II

Don’t make him ask
for space
stand back
way back
wait to be invited in
and never stay too long
or try to expand
his sanctum of solitude
which will only ever
be big enough for one
and occasionally you
might find
that your introvert
seems to be
missing you
in the familiar way
you’re used to missing him
but don’t believe
for a moment
that this means
you will inhabit his future
in any conceivable reality
so be sensitive
to the limits
of your loved one
and never
never expect to mean
as much to him
as he means to you.

 

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
6-19-17

“Baleen” by Andrew Wyeth 1982

 

How to Love an Introvert

Use caution always
approach slowly
and never unexpectedly
try to understand he doesn’t need you
or anyone else
unless your presence enhances
his perfectly honed
and preferred solitude
and try not to take it personally
when you realize planting seeds
and picking ripe raspberries
and making jam
are just a few of the many activities
your introvert enjoys most
while being alone
with the entertaining thoughts
inside his head
and don’t be surprised
that most of his days won’t include you
and you might sometimes
feel the frustration of not being necessary
and you might find yourself in tears
some nights
wishing for a balance of need
but your introvert is offering you
exactly what you are offering him
which happens to be everything
each of you have to give.

 

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
6-19-17

“The Sower” by Vincent van Gogh 1888

 

Worst Case Scenario

It’s unlike you to sleep so late
to be silent past 7 a.m.
to forget to wish me a good day
and remind me you love me
with those exact words
and a plump red heart emoji
before you haul your body
even farther away from me
to go to work
so my instinct
is to imagine the worst—
to imagine you unresponsive
in your bed
or face down in the garden
after you tripped over the fence
or maybe
you are bleeding heavily
after the chainsaw
came down through your thigh
instead of the dead ash tree
you’ve been meaning to clear away
or maybe
you choked in the raspberry patch
trying to beat the raccoons
to your harvest
or maybe
you are tired of me after all this time
and need a break from my love
which might have smothered you.

 

 

 

DeMaris
6-17-17

 

Waiting Room

I am not impatient this time
waiting for my turn
to lay back in the chair and open wide—
there are children whispering loudly
and bells dangling from the door
announcing everyone’s exit and entry
but it all goes on without me
like the volume is turned way down
on just another reality TV show—
I am lost in yesterday.
I am full of the heat that followed us
into the woods and I can only hear
the song of the warblers,
those black and white ones
who provided our sound track
as we kissed on the fallen hickory—
and after I am rattled into alertness
by the sound of my name
I’ve got nothing to do for 15 minutes
but close my eyes
and let both my hands rest on my belly
while I consider where you’ve touched me—
and I don’t even need five fingers to count
the number of times we’ve made love
but in this noisy and populated darkness
I am alone with your body
and we are filling up our hands.

 

 

 

DeMaris
6-12-17

 

 

Voice

“You own everything that happened to you.  Tell your stories.  If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”  ~Anne Lamott

 

You’ve been told
warned is more like it
that you really shouldn’t
write this down
and add it to the internet
or to the sum of your woes
but you know what it’s like
how it feels to be silent
wide eyed as you hear
the sharp words enter you
destroy your self-esteem
those letters arranged
in sentences that suggest
you control your appetite
do something about the size
of your ass your thighs
are thicker than your skin
so you obey and swell up
on the inside as your body
shrinks into invisibility
hoping someday someone
will notice that your voice
is just a mirror reflecting
everything your heart absorbs
and maybe someone would even
try to test it with something
tender like love to see
how sweetly you can sing.

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
6-10-17

*As I explain in my bio, my poems are sometimes true, sometimes fiction, sometimes a mix. This poem came to me last night after I ate not one, but two brownies (gasp!) and was reminded of past relationships (yes, plural) with individuals who were more concerned with my appearance than my happiness.

Brownies

 

Baking brownies
makes me feel
mostly
okay
mostly
at peace
with the amount
of turmoil in my life
which is probably
not much
more
or less
than yours—
whoever you are
reading this poem
on a Friday night—
and if you’re reading
this poem on a Friday night
you’d probably rather
be elsewhere
spending
time
with
the one
you love—
the one who
happens to be
at the place we’ve
identified as elsewhere
so you should make sure
you have a couple of eggs
and cocoa powder and sugar
because baking brownies
is a temporary bridge
back to that state
of being mostly
content and
mostly
okay.

 

 

 

DeMaris
6-9-17

 

“Dutch Girl Having Breakfast” by Jean-Etienne Liotard, 1756