How it Ends

The photo of you
sitting in a field
of wildflowers
made you seem accessible—
and the picture
of your body
halfway into Mosquito Lake
seemed to indicate
you lived for adventure—
but the joy in your eyes
as you stood on Mt. Rainier
was in fact nontransferable
to life down below
where love waited its turn
for you to find it
as beautiful a destination
as the mangroves
in Costa Rica and now
the Redwoods are calling
and you are almost gone.

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
7-26-17

 

Desperate

I’m not sure if
desperate
is the right word—
maybe that’s too dramatic
for what it means
to wait
to wait
to wait
for my turn
to be relevant
and important enough
to have someone
who claims
to love me
come
when I need him—
and because I ask
for so little
it seems this
small request
could be fulfilled
without a fuss
and maybe even
with a sense of urgency
because time
isn’t on our side—
but it’s becoming clear
I am a convenience
instead of a need
I am a toy
instead of a treasure
and if he doesn’t come
I’ll know
how little I matter—
and desperate
will become the word
I must decide
to live with
or to leave.

 

 

 

DeMaris
7-25-17

Sinking

How easily
the sunlit beauty
of the day
goes dark
when tainted
with words
that are not
lovely
and bright
like the call
of the wood thrush
in the trees
along the river—
words that
do not flow in
and out of me
smoothly
the way
this narrow boat
travels
mindlessly
on its course—
words
that do not
float pleasantly
around me
like I love you—
and I’m sure
he wishes
he could
tell me anything
without fear
of me
going under—
just as I wish
his fondness
for her
didn’t
have the power
to sink me.

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
7-16-17

The Answer

Maybe love isn’t the answer
after all
to the question of happiness
which was never part of the plan
when the cells
that would become us
were dividing into our ancestors
who never knew how easy
life would be in the future
with sharp tools and wheels
and gods
we are no longer required
to believe in or praise
for giving us a desire for love
that many of us will never find
so it seems like a good idea
to bury our hearts
in a mass grave dug
with a mass-produced shovel
and seek unconditional devotion
in the divine and perfect form
of cat or dog.

 

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
7-14-17

 

 

 

Going Going Gone

It’s a mystery
why I stayed
so long
settled
for being half
of myself
instead of whole
and it’s my fault
for thinking
that being alone
would reduce me
to loneliness
when there is
no place
more lonely
than being
at the table
across
from someone
who makes me
feel like I’m
not even there.

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
7-14-17

Sporobolus

He was just
a little bird
caged
in your love
for 13 years
by accident
because
he ended up
eating the
prairie dropseed
outside
your window
and you knew
he wouldn’t
last long
without
some kind of
domestication
from which
he must
have escaped
so you
lifted him
into your life
and
when he died
you felt
your feet
leave the ground
as if Sporobolus
was trying
to take you
with him
but you were
too heavy
for his wings
and you
crashed
onto the couch
in tears.

 

 

 

DeMaris
7-13-17