Tag Archives: heartbreak


I’m not sure if
is the right word—
maybe that’s too dramatic
for what it means
to wait
to wait
to wait
for my turn
to be relevant
and important enough
to have someone
who claims
to love me
when I need him—
and because I ask
for so little
it seems this
small request
could be fulfilled
without a fuss
and maybe even
with a sense of urgency
because time
isn’t on our side—
but it’s becoming clear
I am a convenience
instead of a need
I am a toy
instead of a treasure
and if he doesn’t come
I’ll know
how little I matter—
and desperate
will become the word
I must decide
to live with
or to leave.






I want too much
after I thought
I’d convinced myself
to enjoy
he gives me
which is all he can give
because he’s giving
to her too
and why should I
want more
than his love
which he promised
is mine
even though
she gets his bed
and his time
and his considerate lies
to keep her heart
from breaking
the way mine
is breaking
I know
what she doesn’t know—
that neither of us
will ever have him






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


I love the way he loved her—
the way he felt his heart clinch
with a little madness
when he neared her house
after driving for what  seemed
like all day—
his tenderness
must have been born in that flame,
that delicate wish
that couldn’t come true
because she was already invested
in another—
and he loved her enough to leave
her life undisturbed and pure
for a future that wouldn’t include him
or his affection or his warmth—
which I am so fortunate to feel now
radiating into me.








You were telling me
about the sycamores—
the impossible
angles they lean into
as if they wanted so badly
to stretch across the river—
something about
a root plate keeping them
from being swept away
like the other trees
that were getting pulled under—
their roots not equipped
to bear the currents.
Then you pointed upward
to admire how their branches
went from pure white
down to a patchwork
of mottled brown bark—
and as I was looking up
your arms pulled me
into you and I felt your heart
break a little against mine
because the currents
were coming fast now
and we were without roots
to keep us together—
to keep us from ruin—
and the waters, soon,
would be sweeping us away.







Painting by Frank H. Johnston, “Patterned Hillside” 1918