Meaning

So tempting
to think rain
must mean
god is expressing
emotion,
sharing
in your epic
melancholy—
or the collision
between the semi
and the car
in front of you
means you were
favored
over the two children
who ended up
in the ER—
and the dead
towhee you almost
stepped on
must have been
placed on the trail
as a reminder
of how quick
and unfairly
all this might come
to an end—
and the
coneflower
must possess
all the magic
of the universe
because it leaves you
with the truth
after you pluck
its petals—
“he loves me”
which means
you can ignore
all the other signs
that say he doesn’t.

 

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
8-29-17

Prize

No one thinks ahead
to the small rooms we’ll go home to
when the night is black
and the lights are fluorescent
flashing and spinning
in every imaginable color
and the smell of cotton candy
and fried anything
is as thick as your wallet
when you pull it out to buy a chance
at the stuffed bear that’s twice as big
as the beautiful girl who says she wants it
and by the time you’re ready to give up
tossing the rings into a sea of two liter bottles
the carnie makes you a deal
says he’ll give you one more chance,
half price, and all of a sudden
you’re watching the enormous creature
being placed into the arms of your date
who, months later, will decide
she doesn’t have room in her life
for the two of you
and she’ll kick you both to the curb
and become someone else’s prize.

 

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
8-25-17

 

Connecting the Dots

There’s
something beautiful
something human
something
beautifully humane
in the gesture
between one driver
and another
when one is trying
to enter the road
thick with traffic
and the other slows down
to let him in
with a wave that says
it’s okay
I’ll make room for you
because we all
have places to go
somewhere to be
people to meet
and my time isn’t
worth more than yours
and when the stranger
waves back in thanks
it’s like a game
of connect the dots
and if you had
a god’s eye view
you could see how
important it is
to the entire picture
to link and join
as many acts of kindness
as we can.

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
8-16-17

 

 

 

Mind Reader

Where are you
you absent one
who knows
that now is when
I need something
large and warm
to crawl into
something like
an old quilt
with lots of color
and comfort
something marsupial
with a heartbeat
something easy
to get out of
when I’m weak
with uncertainty
and no sense
of direction
where are you
when I am lost
in dysfunction
no one can see—
where is the question
I need you to ask:
Are you okay?
And I won’t even
need to say no.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
8-15-17

“Woman with Red Umbrella” By T.C. Steele

Frayed

 

After all this time
you thought that love
might be floating
in the air between you—
might be settling
onto your skin
like a favorite
flannel shirt with
frayed edges so soft
you don’t want
to remove it for anything—
but maybe you don’t feel
the same to him
because he doesn’t seem
to want you
wrapped around him
in those photographs
he offers to the public eye
wearing that smile
you were certain
was meant only for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
8-7-17

“The Gleaner” by Jules Adolphe Breton, 1900

Stop

 

You never think
STOP
when you’re speeding
toward something
beautiful
like a sky full of storms—

all you see
is the lightning
drawing spectacular
designs on the horizon
inviting you closer—

never mind
the pencil is electricity
and to hold it
would be an act of
defiance and stupidity—

all you want
is to feel brave
and unhinged
and there’s no amount
of shock
that will slow you down.

 

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
8-4-17