“Art About the Land”

The doors open at 6, and there you are
under the familiar stained glass atrium
where you kissed your girl a long time ago
when you thought no one was looking
and now you’re alone in the aftermath of love
feeling torn apart
by the painting of the White River
where you spent one hundred summer days
floating alongside her
certain you would never reach an end
and the close-up photo of the stones hit you hard
as you remembered
how sore your shoulder felt the next day
after skipping so many of them across Sugar Creek
because she looked at you with awe
every time you landed one on the other shore
and you know the mosaic tree
wasn’t made by her hands
but you stand there anyway, remembering
the times you watched her cut the glass
and you always wanted her to make you
a stained glass window
with various oak leaves to remind you
of that trip you took to Mammoth Cave
and you know you taught her everything
she knows about spring wildflowers
which are on display in watercolors and in oils
and there is even an abstract sculpture
of what appears to be bleeding hearts
which reminds you of a poem she wrote for you
and you keep your eye on the door, believing
it’s possible she might walk through it—
that she might be trying to find you again
in this tangled mess of weeds.

 

 

DeMaris
11-29-18

“Sierra Nevada Morning” by Albert Bierstadt, 1870

First Encounter Under the Tree of Knowledge

Adam must have wondered
what was happening to him—
must have felt a great emptiness
inside his whole and perfect body
when he woke from the unpleasant
and unexpected duplication
of his flesh and bone.
Imagine his shock
to see Eve naked beside him—
neither of them aware that her body
was built to receive his,
or to create the cause
of every single human heart
that would beat and love and die
and beat and love and die—
and Adam must have wondered
how Eve’s soft and delicate body
would smell and taste and feel
against his,
and you can imagine her curiosity—
equal, and willing to explore—
and we can believe with all our hearts
that after they discovered how
the puzzle of their bodies fit together
Adam would have sacrificed his rib
all over again
and Eve would agree to give birth
to a hundred billion children
who would blame and punish her
for wanting to know more
about all this beauty—
where it came from, and why.

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
11-19-18

Something Small

On any given day
on any given road
men and women
travel together in silence
or in conversation
and in one scenario
there is silence and joy
in another there is
conversation and joy
and many times
there is silence and hurt
that festers
into a conversation
that solves the problem
and other times
silence swells shut
the mouth that is weary
of never being heard
and by then
the heart is making plans
to travel alone
for the rest of this
godforsaken way.

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
11-5-18

Constellations

When I was in love,
when I was madly in love
I knew it wouldn’t last—
that there would be
an explosion,
an after—
I knew what I felt
was temporary
temporal
but it felt like something
beautiful
and significant
even if it only meant
that I was human—
that I could feel everything
I was supposed to feel
even at this age
even in the middle of my life
even halfway to death
or maybe only a day
away from it—
when I was in love
there was no limit
to what I’d do to please
to satisfy, to elevate, indulge—
there was no fear that I could
give it all away—
but love began to
take take take
as I gave gave gave
and what love left
is a permanent pattern of holes
that collect and store
the constellations of joy
that now
feel light years away.

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
11-2-18

Robbed

Tell me
why
when
where
tell me how
you can love me
without knowing
what
when
where I am
right now
tell me how
you spend the days
knowing
I love you
knowing
you love me
tell me
where
when
why
you robbed me
of yourself
tell me how
tell me when
tell me why
your love
allows this distance
this absence
tell me how
to be patient
tell me
how to stand
how to lay down
without you.