Tag Archives: freedom


Neat and tidy beds
are for beginners
who haven’t spent
enough time sitting
by the open window
with a pillow
crushed between
their chest and knees
breathing in
the lilac gone wild
or the sweet
magnolia ashei
to be inhaled.
Neat and tidy beds
are for those
who need control
over creativity—
who believe
that letting the soft
and delicate petals
of the columbine
with the wood mint
might lead to one
taking advantage
of the other.
Neat and tidy beds
have so much
pruned into them—
as though
it made no sense
to believe
that the milkweed
and the marigold
could compliment
each other
if they were allowed
the freedom
to touch and bloom
below the sheets
of sunlight
ruffled with
occasional rain.





“Flower Beds in Holland” Vincent van Gogh, 1883


For months, weeks, days
you’ve been falling in love
with his surface and his pretty eyes
and the way he sees the world
as a broken toy
he’s determined to fix—
and you love the sound of his voice
teaching you the Latin names
of every wildflower and tree
that grows along the river—
and you smile when he smiles
as the sandhill cranes fly home
and when the monarchs return
from their winter retreat—
and you love the way he loves you
so freely and correctly,
without expectations or demands—
and now that you’ve broken
the surface and reached his depth
you know you can’t ask him
to belong to you—which would be
like asking a wild thing
to feel free inside a cage.










Scar Tissue

I must
have known
all along
we would
come to this—
that you’d
into solitude
which is where
I found you
on all those
where people go
to find
I should have
your freedom
as your joy—
that you were
in your
solitary state
and didn’t need
my love
to make you







Ivy and league are two words
independently definable
and somewhat pleasing to the ear,
and when we read them together,
like green energy
or civil liberty,
we understand that an improvement
has been made—
a sort of elevation into what is desirable,
even though it might seem out of reach.
Invoking education
and power and freedom
is often a stimulant for the oppressed,
who, in their oppression, feel righteous,
and it feels satisfying and good enough
to stay put and continue to covet
and want and wish for—
and they who understand this
understand that there are those who don’t,
and they are like the small circles of oil
that float effortlessly above the water,
and they are the well-greased cogs
who turn toward progress
in spite of the weight they must bear.



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