Category Archives: Uncategorized

Precious Thing

The new
unwrapped gift
is in front of you.
It’s exactly
what you’ve wanted–
never dreamed
you’d possess.
You can’t decide
if it’s as functional
as it is beautiful
but if you put it to use
it might break
or be destroyed
by the number of hours
you expect it to work–
after all
it isn’t a toy
but something fine–
something fragile
something so rare
your instinct
is to put it high
on that shelf
you paid too much for
last year in Providence
and walk away.

 

 

 

DeMaris
12-6-17

Heart Surgeon Wanted

Today is the 50th anniversary of the first human heart transplant.

demarisspeaks

Constantly they fail—
those fist-sized lumps of tissue
that pound on and on for decades,
untrained to do anything
but keep the beat
while the body that surrounds them
begins to contemplate its limits.

And unlike oil changers or burger flippers
there isn’t help for the heart on every corner.
No drop-off or drive-through service
for the transplant or triple bypass.

The heart surgeon has a heart of his own—
enormous and brave,
fueling his skilled hands
as they cut open the hearts of others
that have decided to slow down or call it quits.
He answers prayers more reliably than god.

Wherever he goes
he is praised and envied,
except for home—
where guilt is an unexpected byproduct
of an education so complete
he’s beholden to it.

Years ago, when he gave his heart away
to that beautiful girl who said yes,
he couldn’t have imagined how many times

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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

 

Proof

When
you’re driving
down the road
feeling content 
listening
to The Rolling Stones
bobbing your head
tapping
your left foot
you realize
in that moment
everything
terrible
that’s ever happened
in your life
is behind you–
that you got through it
that this moment
proves
none of that s***
was big enough
or bad enough
to keep you down
on the bottom
where
you were so certain
you would stay.

DeMaris

9-25-17