Tag Archives: future

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.





Deep Winter

You are winter.
Stripped down
to necessity
but not quite barren.
Still beautiful.
I’d even say exquisite.
But mostly
your warmth
isn’t enough
to penetrate
what is cold in me
and even though
I long
for summer
I find it impossible
to believe
that once it wraps me
in its blue skys
I won’t long
for you.







you want the mountains
so badly
you have to throw
your car keys across the room
and cover your face
with both of your hands
for an entire minute
and hope you have the will
to walk over to the mantel 
and look at the photo
of your third-grade son
who would become
as unstable as ash
if you decided
you couldn’t wait
another ten years
before you walked out
on every promise
you ever made—
so you stumble through
another day
that isn’t heaven
but is nowhere close to hell—
and you commit
to another decade,
day by day –
knowing your beloved child will,
by then,
have accumulated
his own set of hearts
to start breaking—
and his own gray mountain
looking glorious
in the dark blue distance.




Revised 1-10-17

Photograph, Ansel Adams, the Tetons and Snake River, 1942


The now
is hardly ever where we are.
We can be found
at most times
in the future—
planning the outcomes
of imaginary encounters
with those bodies we’d like to
acquaint ourselves with
after we exhausted the use
of our minds—
which so easily forget
that one day
the past is the only place
we’ll have to live,
and it’s best to leave it tidy
and pure.




National Suicide Prevention Lifeline ~ 1-800-273-TALK(8255)

You’ve memorized the phone number
even though it’s only been three days
since things went south—
since it was made clear to you
how much better things would be if only
you were someone else.
If only you didn’t cause so much embarrassment
by posting so often on Facebook.
If only you’d stop asking everyone
if they were comfortable and warm enough—
and what the fuck are you doing
posting your shitting poetry online?

You don’t know how to sleep now
with your head full of hot fizz and pressure
like a vice grip squeezing you into knots.
The fetal position isn’t what it used to be,
and neither is this life you’d been enjoying
so well until now—
this moment you realize your heart
is hacked up on the light beige carpet,
almost out of reach.
And the phone is a tool that could pry open
the darkness of your despair, but—
the battery dies because you’re the kind of person
who doesn’t prepare for the future—
and all of a sudden you no longer have one.


DeMaris Gaunt

Photo Credit:
Dean Rogers