Harbors 

The storm flares up
and glass-like waves
rock
rush
crash
into you
and there are
two ports
nearby—
one barely lit
with
an intermittent
glow—
you aren’t
yet sure
of its dependability—
but the other,
farther away,
has a brighter light—
seems to have
everything
you’ll need
in a harbor.
You turn
in its direction
hoping it’s safe—
hoping
you made
the right choice—
now, all you can do
is follow
its illumination
pulling you
onto its shore.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
9-13-17

 

Zucchini

To get to your smile
I wrecked two homes
mine first
then yours
uprooting years
of complacency
years of good enough
and I knew
you might disappoint me
might be nothing
like a fairy tale
and you are nothing
like a fairy tale
but I am as far away
from disappointed
as Jack
when he discovered
the beanstalk
outside his window
because
you planted a seed
just for me
inside your garden
and for lunch
I sautéed zucchini
with butter and salt
and tasted
this fruit of your love.

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
9-12-17

On the Floor

The man
admires the woman
who is puckered up
posing
in a tight black dress
slit up the thigh
standing at a flattering angle
in what appears to be
a bathroom so public
the trash can is overflowing–
but the man doesn’t care
about the brown
paper towels
and mascara stained tissues
on the floor
beside her 3 inch heel–
or that all of us can see her
insecurity
under that confident facade–
he is taken
by her red lips
and her youth
which makes him feel
she might
have a need for him
his wife no longer feels–
so he types
his approval
in just one word.
Wow.
No exclamation mark
to differentiate
his compliment
from his base desire
to crawl into that photo
and add her dress
to the pile on the floor.

DeMaris
9-7-17

Mushroom Cloud

The days
that separate us
are long
and large
and almost empty
compared
to the few days
here and there
when we
are together
talking
listening
laughing—
and your warmth
always finds me
envelops me
enters me
causes
a nuclear explosion
a mushroom
cloud of feeling
spreading
from my core
to my edges
and when you leave
I float down
with the fallout
in pieces
wishing
you’d want
to stay
long enough
to see what we
could look like
whole.

 

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
9-6-17

 

Photo by Mark Mawson

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