Tag Archives: beauty

Corner Booth

The beautiful man
in the black coat
turns away
sits alone
in a corner booth
looking into his hands
at the menu
so full of choices
and we who see him
wonder why he is alone
why his jaw is clenched
we wonder
if he loves someone
who doesn’t love
him back
and we speculate
that he is too pretty
to be loved
for anything other
than his beauty
because men like that
don’t have breakable
hearts or bodies
that are equipped
for anything
but sex
and when his food
arrives he waits
a long time
for his soup to cool
before he takes a sip
and in the meantime
he uses his napkin
to blot
his darkened eyes.






How I Look

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
from the air
that is filled
with what looks like






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

Bell Curve

We all fall
on the bell curve
of beauty—
and where
most of us fall
isn’t on top
of the soft
and level
but somewhere
on the slope
that is so
and without
a foothold
there is nothing
to break
our fall
and we’re sliding
so fast
no one
even notices
we might be
and maybe even
because no one
is looking
but up.







Photo by Marty Koch



How easily
the sunlit beauty
of the day
goes dark
when tainted
with words
that are not
and bright
like the call
of the wood thrush
in the trees
along the river—
words that
do not flow in
and out of me
the way
this narrow boat
on its course—
that do not
float pleasantly
around me
like I love you—
and I’m sure
he wishes
he could
tell me anything
without fear
of me
going under—
just as I wish
his fondness
for her
have the power
to sink me.






Just Below the Surface

In a parallel universe
or on a future day, perhaps,
I’d like to tell you how much
I’ve loved the ones
who came before you—
maybe sit down at the table
with the shoebox
full of love letters
you know nothing about
and rifle through my history
of loss that made our love
and I think it would be
kind of liberating
to hear your stories too
and invite our hearts
to be broken one more time
while I talk about Walter
and that wonderful winter
we spent in Duluth
and you could talk about Rose
and how you still
worry about her even though
she canceled the wedding
and moved back home to Israel—
and for just one afternoon
we wouldn’t have to pretend
that certain names never
float to the surface
of our memory
or that we wouldn’t love
to run into them again
while we were alone
in some cozy café
with nothing more urgent
than our wish
to hear where their life has gone
since that day we were
no longer part of it.




DeMaris Gaunt



It feels like I’ve said
almost everything I can
about the way I love you—
the way it feels warm to have you
in the center of my heart—
and how happy I am to wake up
next to that smile of yours
even if it’s just a picture of us
together on our happiest day
being silly and reckless
somewhere in the middle of our lives
which were never
supposed to converge like this
in the middle of nowhere—
and when I took that photo
deep in the woods, my right arm
wrapped tightly around you,
I wasn’t thinking
about the past or the future—
or the ethics of our union.
I wasn’t thinking that one day
I’d need to explain
what I was doing there with you—
that no one else would see what I see
in that joyful photograph—
all the love, beauty, bravery
and restoration—
the depth of feeling
words are powerless to express
or deny.






In the Woods

I knew
I had to memorize
the way it felt
for you to help me
untuck your shirt
so I could thread my arms
around your waist—
my open hands
reading the smooth
braille of your skin—
and I found a warmth
so tender I shivered
to think such a heat
extended into parts
of you I’d never find
or feel—
and the sycamores
along the river
were the only trees
to take an interest
in our bittersweet union
because they lived
with their white skin
glowing and exposed
and they couldn’t
understand our layers
or why we thought
we had so much to hide.