Tag Archives: human condition

Blood Loss

Please, heart,
stay where you are—
safe in the pocket of air
that surrounds you,
keeps you protected
from the blows
that are small enough
not to break you
but still bruise.

Please, heart,
listen this time—
remember the way it hurt
to beat for love
that was only half
fulfilled, half empty
every time
you pressed against
a foreign rhythm.

Please, heart,
don’t make this mistake—
don’t open your doors
for love
and settle for pleasure
when you know
how much it costs
to come so close
and still bleed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
11-28-17

Parking Lot

I erased
all your emails
that were delivered
to my impatient
inbox
every morning
with love
and a photo
of what no one else
would see
and when I
put them in the trash
I knew I’d have 30 days
to change my mind
to recover
these messages
punctuated
by emojis and hearts
and images
that caused
a tiny explosion
inside my heart
but sitting here in
the parking lot
with your last smile
in my hand
I am going for broke
I am emptying
the recycle bin
I am wiping away
the year
from my cheeks.

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
10-29-17

 

September Revelation 

Dearest
It occurred to me
Only today
That I might not
Love you
Forever
Or uninterrupted
That whatever we are
Might just
Be for now
For the time being
Until something
Happens
To bend
Break
Sever
Our bond
Which is only
A feeling in the air
Between us
And someone else
Might step in
To take you
Lure you
Steal your heart
Or my heart
Away
Which happens
All the time
Because I am not
The only one
And you
Are not
The only one
Who can make me laugh
Or bring me
The kind of joy
That inspires
A commitment
To the lie
That love
Is irreplaceable
And always true.

DeMaris
9-21-17

Meaning

So tempting
to think rain
must mean
god is expressing
emotion,
sharing
in your epic
melancholy—
or the collision
between the semi
and the car
in front of you
means you were
favored
over the two children
who ended up
in the ER—
and the dead
towhee you almost
stepped on
must have been
placed on the trail
as a reminder
of how quick
and unfairly
all this might come
to an end—
and the
coneflower
must possess
all the magic
of the universe
because it leaves you
with the truth
after you pluck
its petals—
“he loves me”
which means
you can ignore
all the other signs
that say he doesn’t.

 

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
8-29-17

Frayed

 

After all this time
you thought that love
might be floating
in the air between you—
might be settling
onto your skin
like a favorite
flannel shirt with
frayed edges so soft
you don’t want
to remove it for anything—
but maybe you don’t feel
the same to him
because he doesn’t seem
to want you
wrapped around him
in those photographs
he offers to the public eye
wearing that smile
you were certain
was meant only for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
8-7-17

“The Gleaner” by Jules Adolphe Breton, 1900

Out Loud

Now that it’s over
and I begin to speak of us
out loud in past tense
I am able to listen
to myself
explain to others
how a perfectly
complacent marriage
became a severing
of the cleanest kind
without war or bitterness
or even regret
because neither of us
will take responsibility
for our contribution—
which is that detail
each of us will leave out
when we hear ourselves
tell our side of the story.

 

 

 

DeMaris
5-13-17

 

After I Leave

After I leave you
I don’t adjust right away
to the familiar things
I return home to
and I don’t stop thinking
about the reasons
we work
and the reasons we don’t—
and the reasons we don’t
have nothing to do
with a deficiency of love
or lack of joy
or misplaced hope,
but the measurement
of life invested elsewhere—
in those familiar things
that breathe and need
and trust
that I’ll come home
after I’ve had time alone,
which is the lie I tell
when I walk in the door
with stories of
how rejuvenating it was
to spend time in nature—
solo—
and I feel guilty
for not wanting
a welcome home kiss
because I want yours
to be the last one on my lips.

 

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
4-3-17

“The Brook” by John Singer Sargent, 1907