Tag Archives: friendship

Up in the Air

“I’m too shy” you said,
with a vulnerability
any 10 year old boy
would only show his mother.
And new to the neighborhood,
who could blame you
for imagining the humility of rejection
if the boy down the street
didn’t want to come out and play
and make a new friend,
which is what you hoped for
as you held the rocket launcher in your hand
and took a few steps into the street.
So I continued without you—
and in the minute it took to walk
between our house and the boy’s,
my own imagination
filled in ten thousand blanks
and I saw you two playing in the woods
catching toads
building forts
tracking mud into the house
fighting over a girl
playing baseball in the backyard
shooting arrows
falling out of trees
double dating
best man-ing—
and after I rang the bell
and watched the boy run toward you
his father and I talked about
where you and I lived before—
and he told me he was military, Air Force,
on their way soon,
like one of your rockets,
to they didn’t know where.

 

 

DeMaris
6-4-18

 

Out Loud

Hearing myself speak
to a dear old friend
at the grocery store
about the one I loved
was a revelation—
and pulled out of me a few facts
I’d never heard out loud—
facts like:
I loved him because…
But this…
But that…
We didn’t…
We couldn’t…
and I watched pity
twist her face into a grimace
filled with an empathy
reserved for those
who should know better
than to put all one’s eggs
into one basket—
and because I had a dozen
in my cart as well as
frozen meatballs
and frozen fish,
I thought it best to part
before I let the truth
finish another sentence.
I said, He didn’t want me
to put my life on hold…
but the truth
was finished when the words
he didn’t want me
landed in my ears
and put a fresh sting
into my long dry eyes.

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
5-1-18

“Two Women on the Hillside” by Franz Marc, 1906

 

All of You

I wanted
all of you
instead of
just
the part of you
that loved me.
I wanted
the other bits too—
the large
and burdened
sections of you
that felt
unhinged
and reckless
for breaking up
the calm
you thought
would always
be yours.
I wanted you
to want me
to see
your shadow side—
I wanted you
to let me
hold your
sorrow
but I couldn’t
get near enough
to touch it
or to see
the expression
on your face
soften
if you would’ve
let me try
to carry
some of it
away.

 

 

 

DeMaris
5-29-17

Ansel Adams, “Clearing Storm” 1945

Terms

We haven’t
exactly
agreed
on what they are
since we began
in friendship
months ago
but it’s clear
that making love
(or maybe
it was just sex
to you)
isn’t going to be
the beautiful
connection
that causes
your desire
to lean
in my direction
or provoke
an honest
conversation
with the woman
you claim
is too fragile
for the truth.
But I need
to believe
in your integrity—
that it can exist
even if
you aren’t ready
to sign
on anyone’s
dotted line—
so I’ll be
your other love
only if she knows
she’s not
the only one.

DeMaris
5-28-17

“Meridian Street, Thawing Weather,” 1887 by T.C. Steele

Lost Love Almanac, Entry #1

I don’t have a photograph
of my favorite memory with you—
you sitting at the kitchen table
with your reading glasses on
after you’d just read to me
a passage from your favorite book.
You look so content
with your eyes settled on the page—
and this snapshot is clearer to me
than any photograph of you
looking happy or silly or serious—
and I pretend in that moment
we both forgot that there was
a clock on the wall pointing out
it was time for me to get home.

 

 

 

 

 

DeMaris-
4-2-17

Restraint

Our lives expand
like the controlled
stretching of a rubber band
that snaps at the end—
and in between
our beginning and our end
when breath
is taken for granted
there is time
for music and art
and walks in the woods
with pleasant company—
and there are
the regular joys
like sweets and babies
and holiday parties—
even indulgences
that become secrets
to tell your best friend
after you’ve had
a glass or two of wine—
and who doesn’t have
a file of regrets
that have scratched
the shiny surface
of those accomplishments
we made?
Our measured risks
add up to the reputation
we have in our own little circles—
and I’m sure that mine
is sanguine in nature,
and that my vibe
belies my truth—
that I exist on a knife edge
between bravery and cowardice—
and I favor one over the other—
and no one really knows
how often I hold back
or how much—
and restraint is not
what I’ll be
remembered for—
though it should be.

 

 

 

DeMaris
1-11-17

All I Need to Know

Your shirt said
“TAKE ME TO THE RIVER”
and I wanted to do what it said
to find out what you’d do
once you got there—
if you’d invite me to stay
or thank me for dropping you off.
I know how much you love
the water – the way it
can’t be contained—
the way you like to move
in its direction whenever possible
on your lime green Kayak, alone—
which is all I need to know
to make a guess that
I’d be left standing on the shore
like a curious sort of bird,
watching you drift away from me
as I drown in the absence
of your love.

 

DeMaris
11-26-16