Tag Archives: atheist perspective

Fairy Tale

The atheist pretends
for a moment
that he has a soul
shaped like a heart
given to him before birth
by Yahweh or Zeus or Baal—
it doesn’t matter
who is responsible
for this flat Valentine—
it’s his to keep
or give away
or cut into pieces like confetti
falling from grace,
which seems to him to be
the best way to celebrate this life
which has no one to thank for it
but the two people
who believed his birth
was a blessing
from their favorite god.







God Talk

Of all places, a bar
the week after Easter
six women, six men
talking God, talking Jesus
recapping the resurrection
one of the men, of course,
doing most of the talking
and I was so close
I could reach out
and touch his clothes
if I wanted to,
if I wanted to
challenge that faith of his
if I wanted to
ask a few questions
about the mission
god had chosen for him
which was to spread
the Good News like butter
onto this bread of mine
to make sure every unbeliever
knew that an afterlife
was an option
in exchange for reason
in exchange for the kind of
common sense that says
you need to seek forgiveness
from whoever it was
you hurt, injured, or wronged
instead of from a man
who lived and died
fourteen hundred years
before the invention
of the printing press.
So instead of begging
for anyone’s pardon
I head for the door
that leads to a light so bright
it took ten million years more
than just one day to be created
and no one in the world
has ever existed
who I’d ask to pick up
and carry all my burdens
and while they’re at it
pay for my tab.





Easter Sunday, 2017

I spent the morning
without Jesus
lingering like he used to
on the outskirts
of my sinful heart.
Now that I’ve cracked him
like an Easter egg
I can enjoy all the candy
of my imagination
without wondering
if he’s been peeking
into my private windows
as if some stone
had been rolled away.
And all the forgiveness
in the world
will not remove the
joy I feel for every sin
I’ve committed
in the name of love.









“My god”
was never something I said
when something shocked
or amazed or angered me—
back when I believed
in that thing which was once
at the center of my imagination—
that thing I thought
had the power to crush me
with an intelligence
I was too stupid to understand.

“My god.”
Still, it’s something I’ll never say—
for different reasons now.
The fear of punishment
for taking the lord’s name in vain
is as potent as the fires of hell—
which means there’s no power
in that phrase and no power
in that awful place
that exists only in the imaginary
glitches of our intelligent minds.


DeMaris Gaunt


Our Years

I bristle at the thought of your pain—
how you must have clenched your teeth for months
until you believed she was worth the trouble—
worth the inevitable exchange.

It would have been harder if it happened
in my first few decades, before I learned how wide
and deep and populated these hearts of ours could be.

But our years have taught me how to un-posses you
so completely, it’s an act of kindness to release our love
like a helium balloon— full and metallic and beautiful,
without reaching up for the dangling string.


DeMaris Gaunt


It has been your answer
so many times.

It is what you would do
give up.

Any one thing.

If any one thing
could bring back
or change,

you would hand it over

But you have never found scales
sturdy enough to measure
your need
against your hope or
your regret,

and you are still searching
for the powerful hands
that are wide enough
to receive your precious exchange,
compassionate enough
to give it back,

divine enough
not to need it.


DeMaris Gaunt


All morning my hood was up

warming my head and muffling sound waves

coming from the radio,

and my cocoon was pleasant

while I thought of horses wearing blinders—

those beautiful and powerful

animals without a choice.

And without moving my head

I tried to look left and then right

but I could only see what was before me,

and I was okay with that because

I could pull it down whenever I wanted

and because I wasn’t going anywhere just yet,

and I could drink my coffee just fine

and take my time eating my buttery toast—

but when Islamaphobia was mentioned on NPR

I pinched off my hood into a narrow little slit

open only to my eyes and thought about

what it meant to respect a culture? a religion?

a viewpoint? which insists that women live caged

beneath the cloth— made to believe

it has something to do with their own good.

And I felt grateful for the good sense

and the freedom to disagree.



DeMaris Gaunt