Category Archives: Uncategorized

Deep Winter

You are winter.
Stripped down
to necessity
but not quite barren.
Still beautiful.
Sometimes
I’d even say exquisite.
But mostly
your warmth
isn’t enough
to penetrate
what is cold in me
and even though
I long
for summer
I find it impossible
to believe
that once it wraps me
in its blue skys
I won’t long
long
long
long
long
for you.

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
2-4-18

I Wonder

Sometimes
the writing is on the wall
but for weeks
it’s been on a handwritten sign
at the corner of Main Street
and Emerson Avenue–
black foamboard
white letters
hunched over in the snow–
a kind of crude, yet sincere
devotion to philosophy–
an invitation, really,
to fill in the blank.
“I wonder ______”
Two words that begin a question
so capacious
I worry about the one
who put it there–
what was she thinking?
It must have been a she
who believed existentialism
was the path to understanding
what couldn’t be easily defined–
or maybe it was a man
who erected the sign–
whose only wish
was to know what happened
to the woman who got away
and this was a cry to the universe–
a universe
that will never answer
or care.

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
1-20-18

Snow Angel

Today, the future has finally arrived
giftwrapped in snow—
it’s the future I hoped for
doubted
questioned
when I hiked alone
around Yellowwood Lake
a dozen years ago
on a white winter day like this—
ignorant, then,
of how to tell the oaks apart
after their leaves had fallen—
back when I hadn’t a clue
which bird was singing which song—
all I wanted in those days
was someone to share that beauty—
someone
who didn’t need to know anything
about the plants
that grew in wetlands
or on the prairies—
I could have been happy
with a partner
who knew nothing
of the migration patterns
of falcons and owls—
I could have loved someone
even if he couldn’t explain
the differences between
cumulus and cirrus clouds—
but somehow
here I am
on my back in the snow
making angels with someone
who wants to know as much about me
as he knows
about every wildflower
he’ll name for me in spring.

DeMaris
1-15-18

Painting by TC Steele, “Early Snow”

Suicide Attempt 

Mine
will start
in the car
and take me
to the edge
of California
because
that’s
the kind
of beauty
I want
to end up in
and
on the way
I’ll have time
to think
about
why
and why not
and I’ll stop
only
for fuel
and food
to keep
me alive
until I get
to the
redwoods
which
I’ll need
to see first
before
I go black
and it’s a
small hope
that they
will remind me
I have options
and to
go back
where
I came from
because
they know
what’s it’s like
to feel stuck
in one place
for so long
and still
grow.

 

 

 

DeMaris
1-13-17

Anniversary 

This is the day
you never thought
would be
a celebration
back when
you were sure
your enormous wish
was never going to fit
into the contours
of your life
so you did
what anyone in love
would do
you blew up
the boundaries
and stepped into
someone else’s world
with not a single
promise
to put everything
back how you found it
if what you’d done
turned out to be
in vain.

 

 

DeMaris
12-29-17

Damages

Back at home
there are two
pencil drawings
precious
small
old
black and white
sketches
a gift from a friend
who means
something to me
but I can’t decide
what
kind of frame
would be best
and I’m standing
in the aisle
deciding
whether my choices
are as black and white
as these frames
so I take my time
make a decision
proceed
to the checkout
where the cashier
is careless
and scratches
one of the corners
says to me
all you need to do
is touch that up
with some black paint
and I say
you know that dent
is never
coming out

 

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
12-18-17

How I Look

Sometimes
happy music plays
in another room
and even
if you close your door
sound waves
sneak in
and all you want
is silence
or dark music
that is so full
of melancholy
it makes you feel
indistinguishable
from the air
that is filled
with what looks like
nothing.

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
12-13-17

“Interior with Piano and Woman in Black” by Vilhelm Hammershoi, 1901