Mirror

To prove
that I’m racist
my daughter
asks me
questions
like would you
rather adopt
a white child
or a black one
and I say
I’m not raising
any more kids
and she asks
if I’d feel
more comfortable
in a room
full
of white people
or black
and my answer
is wrong
true
complicated
and we sit
in silence
for a while
sipping coffee
thinking of
more questions
that no one
wants to answer
so she can get an A
on her paper
that’s going to
be a mirror
no one wants
to look into.

 

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
10-31-17

Theory 

Maybe
the saddest
and most
bittersweet
realization
in life
is that we don’t
stay broken
that we heal
we recover
from the love
we thought
could never end
and that love
can be replaced
which means
we were wrong
it means
we misjudged
the function
of our hearts
which was never
to stay in one place
but to keep
searching
for a source
to fill
what will never
be full.

 

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
10-30-17

Parking Lot

I erased
all your emails
that were delivered
to my impatient
inbox
every morning
with love
and a photo
of what no one else
would see
and when I
put them in the trash
I knew I’d have 30 days
to change my mind
to recover
these messages
punctuated
by emojis and hearts
and images
that caused
a tiny explosion
inside my heart
but sitting here in
the parking lot
with your last smile
in my hand
I am going for broke
I am emptying
the recycle bin
I am wiping away
the year
from my cheeks.

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
10-29-17

 

Compass 

Mine
was plastic
orange
inexpensive
with a cord
to go
around
my neck
and it never
seemed
to make it
easier
to find
my way
when I
was lost
while yours
was internal
invisible
instinct
with a
built in
barometer
a feeling
in the air
a trust
you had
that the sun
could be
relied upon
to make
no errors
on its
course
so you
never worried
about
making
a wrong turn
or heading
in the wrong
direction
until
our paths
crossed
and now
we are
navigating
the dark
together
and I’m
hoping
you’ll feel
your heart
quiver
like the
needle
on a
compass rose
as it
gets closer
to mine
searching
for its
true north.

 

 

 

DeMaris
10-15-17

Tug of War

Today
you will be expected
to demonstrate
your genetic fortitude
while you get the work done
efficiently and well
and you will be expected
to laugh at the jokes
made by your father
at the expense
of your mother
when she’s not around
and you will do this
with an effort so great
it will appear effortless
and later on
you will be expected
to use the manners
you learned as a child
while you listen
to your mother rehash
the past forty years
of emotional neglect
which was worth it
she swears
because she got you
so you listen
with a detached disgust
that’s replaced your empathy
making sure the lines
in your furrowed brow
appear authentic
because you
are on the payroll
and your job
isn’t damage control
your job is
favorite child
and you’re going for golden
on two accounts.

 

 

 

DeMaris
10-9-17